In an effort to fight corruption in Liberia’s education system, the Legal Professional Development and Anti-Corruption (LPAC) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the Corruption-Free School Project aimed at cracking down on graft in educational institutions.
The project is geared toward transforming students, teachers and administrators and also to create school environments that are conductive for learning through the establishment of integrity clubs in schools and universities.
Making remarks at the official launch of the Corruption-Free School Project in Monrovia, the LPAC Chief of party, John P. Furnari said Liberians suffer from disturbing trends of corruption in schools and universities with teachers and lecturers demanding gifts, accepting bribes and abusing students sexually in order to have them pass their exams.
Furnari said USAID and the LPAC will support the project to the fullest with the necessary resources required to undertake the pilot phase, saying “I believe this will strengthen existing efforts in the fight against corruption, increase anti-corruption education and promote integrity system in schools”.
According to him, with recognition of the promise and exuberance of youth, the project also intends to build a culture of integrity which essentially begins with the education of students and youth in schools and universities imparting anti-corruption education, integrity standards, good moral values, civic duties, rule of law and many other good governance principles.
Furnari disclosed that the project will also engage into training, quarterly symposia and lectures, while seminars and conferences will be organized for the young people to help each other to find their way back to the honorable path of corruption-free public service.
Furnari further said corruption can destabilize the economic growth and development of a nation and weakens institutions and systems and destroys democratic tenets, adding that ordinary students are the most affected because it threatens their socio-economic and physical wellbeing and also deprives them from basic social service.
He disclosed that, the LPAC and the LACC have shared confidence that the more teachers are informed of their ethical responsibilities and the more students are told about their rights as well as responsibility to report crimes, every action of malpractice will be exposed while future bad acts will be avoided in schools.
“I believe that the knowledge, skills and behaviours that these young people will learn through the project will not only change their behaviours but also ship the future of this country because they represent one-third of the Liberian population.