School Anti Corruption Clubs taking root, getting administration support
In 2017 Action Aid International Uganda embarked on spreading the anti corruption campaigns in schools. The objective was to bring to the students’ attention the repercussions of corruption and engage themselves in fighting the vice as responsible citizens.
Two years down the road the Anti Corruption Clubs (ACC) are bearing fruit as the student community spread across several schools in the Albertine districts has grown to more to about 1000-strong.’
Agnes Nakintu, the ACC patron of Kitara SS in Hoima district, says a remarkable development that has happened at the school is the club members presiding over student elections to rule out cases of bribery.
She reports that at the recent student elections a particular candidate was well known to the panel of teachers and overwhelmingly the favourite.
“The ACC members raised this concern and protested that the ground was not leveled as the particular candidate was well known to the panel. The school administration took action and the club members were able to preside over the elections that turned out free and fair,” Nakintu says.
Nakintu proudly says the club membership in her school alone has grown to about 200. She notes that students have embraced the anti corruption crusade so much that they even engage the communities back home.
“Students report back from the school holidays and document cases of corruption back in their communities,” she says.
Katusiime Jacqueline, the ACC patron for Mandela SS, acquiesces with her colleague, saying students now see it as a noble duty as responsible citizens to fight corruption.
“Being part of the ACC has given students a sense of responsibility and changed their attitude towards corruption. They no longer look at these cases as just an everyday part of their lives but rather see it as a danger to the community,” she says.
Students are actively involved in documenting articles on corruption the best of which are then read out in recognition during school assemblies. Students testify that culprits in their schools have been brought to book or made to account for their actions through their clubs.
In Masindi SS, the club members report how the school administration tasked the games master to explain why he had not procured items meant for the winning teams yet he had received the funds. This was as a result of the ACC members raising the concern.
An interesting dimension to the ACCs is that patrons have designed sustainability strategies for their continuity in schools. 14 clubs in Pakwach, Nebbi, Masindi and Hoima have drawn activity calendars for them to follow while executing activities of ACC as a sustainability strategy. Ongwech Sylvester, the club patron of Pakwach SS elaborates that the need to even involve school bodies like the Parents Teachers Association and local council leaders in their activities as a strategy to spread the crusade against corruption in the communities.
Across the board patrons and students alike expressed fair satisfaction that the administration was recognising their work though they are not accorded as much time to execute most of their activities.
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