Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Young People Also Talk About Corruption

Today we heard from young people their views on corruption.  At Government Secondary School Wuse, U.S. Speaker on anti corruption Peter Ainsworth interacted with students from public schools in Abuja on corruption, particularly how it affects them. 

The first question Mr. Ainsworth asked the students was their definition of corruption.  Answers included the following:

  • Illegal acts by leaders in power to people they serve
  • Act of doing wrong for money or giving someone money to do wrong
  • Act of embezzlement of money which is not your own; and
  • Any act of indiscipline in any organization and it could be in the church or mosque
The discussion became more specific as they talked about corruption in the education system.  The students were quite honest and listed ‘giraffing’ and ‘expo’ which are all nicknames for exam malpractice.  They also mentioned the fact that some parents also contribute to exam malpractice as they purchase question papers for their children.  Plagiarism was another practice they mentioned especially with information sourced from the internet.
On the role of politicians in the education sector the students noted that they are suppose to construct schools and provide the infrastructure that the schools need like laboratories and books.   In addition they are the legislators that should make laws which would improve the standard of education. 
Finally, the students were asked to suggest how corruption can be checked in the running of their schools.  They made the following suggestions:

  • The process of issuing contracts for projects in schools be made open and transparent
  • Accountability by auditing how funds allocated to the school are spent
  • Improved salaries for teachers so they can do their jobs better
  • Students should have access to information about how their schools are managed, in addition to having meetings with the school management
Mr. Ainsworth emphasized to the students that they can make a difference and it’s up to them as the future of Nigeria to push for positive change instead of relying on politicians to do the right thing because they may not.

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