Efforts to fight corruption in the long term and to instil values of honesty and integrity in the younger generation have begun in earnest.
As part of the new educational reform, the National Council for Curriculum Assessment (NaCCA) will execute an integrity education for children at the basic and SHS levels.
Already, a teachers’ manual and facilitators’ lesson notes have been prepared, including 6-part animations to aid instructions are in place to kick-start what will be a major policy goal that will positively impact Ghana’s fight against corruption in the medium-to-long-term.
“The module has been pretested in five schools without the readers,” Executive Secretary of NaCCA, Dr Prince Armah said at a stakeholder review meeting held at the Mensvic hotel, for the Basics in Integrity Manual.
The meeting, among other things, is to enable broader consultation and to draw an effective implementation plan for the policy.
Speaking at the review meeting Dr Armah said the need for an anti-corruption, integrity enhancing educational module for students at the young age cannot be overemphasised.
He was worried about the country’s depressing level of development, much of which can be attributed to the high cost of corruption in the country.
According to Dr Armah, “Ghana has struggled to rise to its full potential and deliver on the promise of self-government” partly due to high levels of corruption.
“It is inarguable that one of the major reasons that we have been left behind by countries such as Singapore and South Korea who were behind us at independence is the high incidence of corruption in high, official places.
“Conservative estimates show that annually, we lose some few billions of cedis to corruption and malfeasance. This is money that could have built hospitals, roads and schools. It is money that could have provided better education for our young people and compensate them properly once they enter the workforce,” he said.
He was emphatic that the rise in corruption can only be as a result of a fall or deficit in the integrity of the citizens hence the need to take deliberate, strategic measures to instil honesty in our younger generation.
Together with LeadAfrique and with support from the Star Ghana Foundation, NaCCA has developed a curriculum for teaching children the nature, basics and impact of corruption.
“The Basics in Integrity education programme, previously known as Basics in Anticorruption Education, is anchored on the belief that by weaving the principles of integrity into our curriculum, we will produce a new generation of Ghanaians for whom making ethical choices will be but second nature, a daily practice that yields the right and positive results.
“Learners will learn to make ethical life choices both in and out of the classroom, by consistently being taught these values as part of the normal school curriculum, Dr Prince Armah said.