• February 2, 2024

Collecting Billions as ‘Bribes’ for Pin Codes Teachers Demand ACC to Investigate TSC

Collecting Billions as ‘Bribes’ for Pin Codes  Teachers Demand ACC to Investigate TSC
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By Alusine Fullah

The Education Act, 2004 details the mandates, key responsibilities and composition of educational institutions in Sierra Leone. The Teaching Service Commission (TSC) has overall responsibility for the human resource management of teachers and school leaders in Sierra Leone. Its Mission is to: “ensure adequate, professionally qualified, motivated and disciplined teaching staff in all public, basic, secondary and technical and vocational schools for the successful implementation of national education policies, plans and programs.”

Forum Newspaper has received rich information from several sources that have preferred to remain anonymous that the Chairperson of the Teaching Service (TSC) Commission has received (OL) 300 hundred million Leones as a bribe from poor teachers who are seeking for pin codes. One of the sources lamented: “TSC is a big disgrace in this country. The role of the commission is to recruit teachers on fair bases. The habit of taking bribes from people who apply for teaching pin codes is not fair…for me TSC is the hub for bribing…”

Apart from the foregoing, section 42 subsection 1 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act of 2008 it talks about “Abuse of Office.” It states: Any public officer who uses his office to improperly confer an advantage on himself or any other person commits an offence. Subsection 2 continues: a person guilty of an offence under subsection 1 shall on conviction be liable to a fine not less than thirty million Leones or to imprisonment for a term not less than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

One of the staff from the TCS has also confirmed to this medium that the issue of taking huge bribes from Sierra Leoneans who normally apply for pin codes is very common and rife especially from the top management level. “The issue need to be solved as soon as possible…things are getting out of hands in terms of bribes for pin codes…”

Mohamed Sankoh, a teacher who has been seeking for pin codes for decades lamented his ordeals: “When I went to recruitment department, they asked me to pay 20 million Leones for me to have the pin code and a promotional rank of senior teacher…since I paid that money no good result…”

Invoking the Anti-Corruption Commission, section 50 subsection 2 states: “Any person who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, solicits, accepts or obtains any advantage as an inducement to or reward for or otherwise on account of his refraining or having refrained from bidding at any auction conducted by or on behalf of any public body, commits an offence. Subsection (3) makes provision for penalties for any defaulter. It states: “A person guilty of an offence under this section shall on conviction be liable to a fine not less than thirty million Leones or to imprisonment for a term not less than 3 years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”

A group of teachers have reached this medium that they are fervently seeking the help of government to intervene on this issue of giving bribe for one to get a pin code. “They government need to intervene on this issue. We are tired of this unfair treatment from TSC. The concept of if you don’t give a bribe for a pin code you would not get it. We are tired”, they lamented. As a professional medium, we try very hard to reach the chairperson of the Teaching Service Commission for his comments, but all efforts proved futile.

 

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