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WAMAC Combats Corruption in Ebonyi

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By Mercy Kelani

It discovered a trend of teachers neglecting their classroom duties.

Wadata Media & Advocacy Centre (WAMAC) in Ebonyi collaborates with the backing of MacArthur Foundation, which champions innovative individuals and impactful organizations devoted to creating a fairer, greener, and more harmonious global community. During the Town Hall meeting in Abakaliki, the State Capital, Mr. Zubair Abdurra’uf Idris, the Executive Director of WAMAC, expressed this sentiment when speaking to stakeholders. The collaboration between WAMAC and local communities, backed by the MacArthur Foundation, is focused on combating corruption and promoting Good governance.

More so, the initiative addresses the issue of teacher absenteeism in Ebonyi State’s public schools, highlighting the important role of communities in addressing this problem. His goal is to increase awareness and address issues of corruption in Nigeria through investigative journalism, aiming to reduce the widespread corruption in the country. His statement revolved around the team’s collaboration with Radio Nigeria, Unity FM, Abakiliki to tackle corruption in the education sector. Investigative reports revealed a concerning trend of teachers receiving salaries but neglecting their classroom duties.

The fight against Corruption cannot be left to anti-corruption agencies.

As a result, SUBEB increased monitoring of schools across Ebonyi State to address the issue. Absenteeism at the grassroots level of government is just another manifestation of corruption issues. Over the past five years, Wadata Media and Advocacy Centre (WAMAC) has collaborated with the McArthur Foundation in Chicago to promote good governance, accountability, and combat corruption through investigative reporting and programs. This advocacy initiative has reached 12 radio stations across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones, delivering content in local languages.

Currently, it finds itself in Abakiliki where its gracious host and collaborative radio station, Nigeria’s Unity FM 101.5, Abakiliki, have been broadcasting investigative features in Igbo and Pidgin languages. The fight against Corruption cannot be left solely to anti-corruption agencies; civil societies, community organizations, and individuals must also play a significant role in reducing corruption. Failure to combat corruption will result in dire consequences. It is their sincere plea to community leaders and NGOs to work hand in hand with journalists to create in-depth investigative pieces regarding the battle against corruption.

Absenteeism indicates dissatisfaction with work.

Community members and radio listeners will participate in discussions and conversations about fighting corruption to make a significant impact. It is important for communities to take responsibility for combating corruption. Additionally, they encourage the public, journalists, and Civil Society Organizations to utilize the Fol Act, which promotes participatory democracy, transparency, and accountability in government affairs. Mr. Theophilus Nwokpo, the State Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), suggested that government-owned public schools should establish a task force to ensure that teachers are present and actively teaching to prevent paying individuals who are not fulfilling their duties.

Mr. Uchenna Onugu, a representative of the Nigeria Police, emphasized the importance of improving the infrastructure in public schools and offering more attractive salaries to government employees. In rural regions, Mr. Gregory Esheye of Ebonyi State College of Education Ikwo noted that teacher absence is particularly concerning. Esheye observed that absenteeism indicates dissatisfaction with work and is also considered a form of corruption. He implored the authorities to address the issues pertaining to physical health, mental health, and conduct. Mr. Emmanuel Chukwu, the President of the All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, emphasized the importance of student attendance in class to support and motivate teachers.

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Dr. Livinus Ezeuwa, together with Mr. Henry Nworie and Mr. Haruna Aja from the Universal Basic Education Board UBEB, praised Governor Francis Nwifuru for his efforts in improving the education system within the state. Mr. Moses Ogodoalinome, the Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), proposed a solution to reduce absenteeism by switching from e-payments back to table payments. He emphasized the importance of implementing thorough monitoring and supervision practices. Urban Model Secondary School students, together with their peers from Amiara Christian and Abakaliki High School, expressed the need for the Government to hire additional teachers due to a shortage in various subjects.

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WAMAC: Website

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