Thursday, 05 May 2022 14:23

How CENTAL aborted over LRD$60,000 payment to school administration in Rivercess Featured

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
ALAC ALAC

How CENTAL aborted over LRD$60,000 payment to school administration in Rivercess

Corruption and fraud in schools are causing serious economic constraints for parents/guardians and compromising the future of the youth in Liberia. It is preventing poorer parents from sending their children to school, and lowering teaching standards thus wrecking the education system.   

In February, 2022, a matter was reported by students of the Cestos High School in Rivercess County regarding what was referred to as, ‘illegal collection’ of L$2,000.00 from over thirty (30) senior students which is equivalent to L$ 60,000 and US$ 397.39 of the School as summer school fee. The fee was intended to be paid by students who didn’t make successful passes in the School’s academic requirements. The amount was in addition to a LRD$ 5,000.00 per student equivalent to L$ 150.000 and US$ 993.48 stipulation of the Ministry of Education for all senior students as graduation fee. Because of the constraint some students had in paying the fee, they decided to report and seek redress. This is one of the many instances that is unheard of in schools and other institutions in and around the country.  

What did CENTAL Do?    

Upon receipt of the report, CENTAL, through its County Field Officer held immediate engagement with the School’s administration aimed at resolving the matter.

Following the engagement, the administration decided to disregard the collection of the extra fees and reimbursed students who made initial payments. The administration’s plan to have collected over LD$60,000.00 from the already struggling senior students was aborted as a result of CENTAL’s prompt intervention.  

Socially, the illegal collection of fees from student for service in education has a wide range of consequences. It acts as a barrier to education, because it makes the cost of acquiring an education prohibitive, or cause reluctance in students to put effort in learning or acquiring education. Amazingly, many students, would want to report but the lack of reporting mechanism, especially one that protects the identities of whistleblowers has prevented many people from reporting this act of corruption, even if they opposed it.

Many have been fearful of different factors – loss of jobs, relationships and even their lives. Or treatments meted out against a few colleagues who dared and opposed the act were enough reasons to compel other into submission or self-censorship. There has never been any framework or mechanism to facilitate reporting acts of corruption in the public and private sectors.       

To this end, CENTAL, under its National Integrity Building and Anti-Corruption (NIBA) Program established a confidential reporting mechanism to reporting.

The Advocacy and Legal Advice Center (ALAC), through a toll-free hotline number, 4432 provides a safe space for citizens to report all acts of corruption and integrity related in homes, communities, schools, workplaces etc. It also provides access to information and legal advice for victims of corruption and others citizens.

Over the last two years, CENTAL has increased anti-corruption and integrity building awareness, especially the need to freely and confidentially report and seek redress to acts of corruption across its seven project counties – Montserrado, Bong, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Rivercess.

Feedbacks from the different engagements indicate that the message is resonating with the people. They are reaching out. The ALAC has so far recorded over one hundred and eighty-eight (188) cases of corruption have so far. Of this, one hundred and fifty-seven (157) were males while thirty-one (31) were females.  The abortion of over LRD $ 60.00 illegal payment is one of the many cases resolved.

Some of these cases were resolved either through mediation, legal advice while others were referred to relevant public authorities for redress.

The NIBA Program is a 3.5-year Program funded by the Government of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Read 5189 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 May 2022 14:37

LOCATION

22nd Street, Sinkor
Tubman Boulevard
Monrovia, Liberia
Phone: +231 88 681 8855
Email: info@cental.org.lr
Website: www.cental.org.lr 

 

SUBSCRIBE

Get updates and important events straight to your inbox. We don't spam

GET IN TOUCH

© 2024 All Rights Reserved. Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL).