Religious leaders fight corruption in schools

Accra- Religious leaders and Faith-Based Organisations have launched a National Anti-Corruption Campaign under the Forum for Actions on Inclusion, Transparency and Harmony to fight corruption in basic schools.

The campaign, christened an Interfaith Shaping Hearts, Attitudes and Minds to End Corruption in Ghana (I-SHAME Corruption), is a two year project funded by STAR-Ghana with an amount of GH713,130.00 to shape students to eschew all forms of corruption in the society.

The Faith groups on the project, include; the Catholic Church, the Office of the National Chief Imam, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, and the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Ghana.

Speaking at the launch in Accra, Mr Samuel Zan Akologo, Executive Secretary for Department of Human Development at the National Catholic Secretariat, said the project’s main focus would be the establishment of integrity clubs in all the participating schools.

Mr Akologo said the project would be piloted in selected basic schools across the ten regions to target pupils and students with a co-curricular mentoring programme towards re-orienting their behaviour pattern against corruption.

According to Mr Akologo children were more likely to change if they had proper formation at the formative stage stressing that the project will impart knowledge on corruption to the target audience in 20 Schools, two schools from each of the 10 regions.

He said a detailed manual had been developed to guide the project and train coordinators, as well as encourage the formation of integrity clubs with the schools and organise a quarterly intra and interschool quizzes and debates to enhance learning and peer networking for positive influence.

Mr Akologo explained that teachers would be carefully selected based on their personal integrity and trained to mentor the pupils at the levels of necessary engagement.

He stressed that selected and credible religious leaders would support the teachers on periodic mentoring visits to the schools and interact with the pupils.

This would be done in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service and the National Commission for Civic Education at all levels of necessary engagement, he added.

He said the Ghana Catholic Bishop’s Conference had committed the entire Church to a dedicated prayer for strength against bribery and corruption which had resulted in the collective strength with a National Anti-Corruption Action Plan.

The Executive Secretary appealed to the faith organisations to openly confront and trace suspicion of corruption no matter where it occurs.

Ms Josephine Nkrumah, Chairperson, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), expressed satisfaction about the project since it focused on the youth to be educated on the need to shun corruption.

Ms Nkrumah encouraged parents to teach their children good morals, stressing that the fight against corruption must start from the early stages and called on Ghanaians to speak up anytime there was an action of corruption anywhere they find themselves.

Hajia Ayishetu Abdul-Kadiri, the Chairperson of Faith in Ghana Platform, said two years ago, the National Catholic Secretariat mooted the idea for an Inter-Faith cooperation project for social impact as moral interventions to bring the greatest good to humanity.

The Religious leaders led by Most Reverend Philip Naameh, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale symbolically flashed a light to dispel darkness and say no to corruption.

By this, the Religious leaders and Faith-Based Organisations are expected to continue to cooperate and collaborate to eradicate the menace of corruption in society.

Source: Ghana News Agency