Some basic school pupils in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region have demonstrated in-depth knowledge and understanding of corruption and its consequence on national development.
They therefore called on mandated state institutions to strictly enforce the laws on corruption and urged all stakeholders to join the fight against corruption by intensifying education to make Ghanaians appreciate the consequence of corruption on the country’s socio-economic progress.
The pupils who were from the St Joachim R/C and Anafobiisi Junior High Schools (JHS) made these known in a debate organized in Bongo by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in collaboration with the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS) as part of the “I SHAME Corruption in Ghana Project.”
The project is being funded by STAR Ghana Foundation with contributions from the European Union (EU), DANIDA and UK Aid.
The debate was on the motion, “Corruption is the result of law enforcement failure”.
The St Joachim R/C JHS which spoke for the motion, “Corruption is the result of law enforcement failure”, explained that law enforcement was central to ending corruption and all its forms but there had been lapses over the years, which paved way for more people to engage in acts of corruption.
They argued that as a result of indiscipline on the part of some law enforcement agencies, most perpetrators of corruption were left off the hook while those who had the courage to report people who engaged in corrupt practices were victimized.
This, they said, had made the ordinary Ghanaian to lose faith in the ability of state mandated institutions to properly fight corruption thereby making it very attractive to perpetrators at the expense of national development.
On the other hand, Anafobiisi D/A JHS, which spoke against the motion, described corruption as a socioeconomic canker which the citizenry could only overcome through positive attitudinal change.
They stated that corruption was an evil practice, frowned upon by all religions in Ghana however people had disregarded their religious values and national interest in order to enrich themselves through corrupt practices.
They therefore called on all stakeholders including the NCCE to intensify education to empower citizens to fight against corruption while religious leaders continued to preach against it.
Mr Samuel Zan Akologo, the Executive Secretary of Caritas Ghana and Coordinator of I-SHAME Corruption in Ghana project expressed delight at the pupils’ level of knowledge and understanding about corruption and said it was refreshing to see young people expressing the zeal to end the phenomenon.
He said that his outfit had collaborated effectively with key stakeholders including NCCE and Faith-Based Organizations such as the Office of the National Chief Imam, Ahamadiya Moslem Mission, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Federation of Moslem Women Association, Christian Council of Ghana, and Marshallan Relief and Development Services (MAREDES), to help in the carrying out the project.
Mr Pontius Pilate Apaabey Baba, the Upper East Regional Director, NCCE, commended the National Catholic Secretariat for complementing the Commission’s civic education efforts, particularly inculcating sense and values of transparency and accountability in the people.
Anafobiisi D/A JHS emerged winner with 300 points while St Joachim recorded 296 points.