Group urges Rivers govt to address alleged corruption in sector
A non-governmental organisation, WADATA Media and Advocacy Centre (WAMAC), has called on the Rivers State government to address alleged corruption in the education sector.
It also urged the state government to use inspection, regeneration, remuneration, reward and evaluation approaches to check corruption in the sector.
The group made the call during a town hall meeting in Port Harcourt to address new concepts against corruption.
Executive Director of WAMAC, Mr. Zubair Idris, said the meeting was organised to appraise the new concept of fighting corruption through citizens’ participation in governance and enhancing community interface on investigative journalism.
Idris, who is also the Project Manager, Media and Advocacy Centre, said the media advocacy and community engagement against corruption would complement the anti-corruption agencies’ efforts to check the menace.
Idris also urged Nigerians to take ownership of the fight against corruption in the country.
In his paper on ”Corruption in the education sector in Nigeria: The need for moral reorientation,” the Lead Advocate, Centre for Character Reorientation, Mr. Andrew Ajai, described corruption as ”a negative word that wants to win the positive world”.
Ajai said corruption in the sector includes teachers not teaching properly and lecturers insisting on students buying their handouts or textbooks to pass exams.
He also listed sexual harassment by lecturers to students and students to lecturers, to pass exams as part of the corrupt practices in the sector.
Others are extortion by schools’ principals and teachers, exam malpractices, embezzlement, parents inducement to teachers and lack of funding to schools.
Ajai called on relevant authorities and stakeholders to encourage investment in science and technology to enable students to compete with their counterparts globally.
Founder, African Centre for Media, Governance and Peace Building (ACMGP), Sunny Dada, in his paper on ‘Irregular funding and corruption in primary and secondary schools in Rivers,’ urged the state government to audit its schools.
He also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the Ministry of Education to determine if funds were misappropriated.
A representative of the EFCC, Mr. Shehu Abdurashid, enjoined Nigerians to embark on whistle blowing of corrupt persons to check the menace.