Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The Founder and Proprietress of Solomon Ekuma Berewa Primary School in Charlotte Village, Mrs. Modu Conteh (Nee Wilson), has raised concerns about the school’s finances and is urging the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the allocation of government subvention, which she suspects is being directed into an unauthorized bank account.
Mrs. Conteh spoke exclusively to Awoko Newspaper after encountering difficulties reaching out to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School. The school, which became government-assisted in 2006, receives subsidies from the government in an account jointly managed by Mrs. Conteh and two other individuals at the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank. However, Mrs. Conteh alleges that the school stopped receiving subsidies in 2018, and she now suspects that the funds are being channelled into an account unknown to her.
Expressing her suspicion, Mrs. Conteh revealed that she discovered the existence of another account during her inquiry at the Teaching Service Commission. Although details about this account were not adequately explained, rumours suggest that a Zenith Bank account is now receiving government subsidies. Mrs. Conteh is keen to identify who operates this account, prompting her call for an ACC investigation.
Mrs. Conteh recounted her efforts to address the matter with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), where she was authorized to open a new bank account for school subsidies. However, she encountered resistance when the current Head Teacher presented a document for her signature in December last year. Mrs. Conteh refused to sign, insisting on a transparent account of the school’s finances.
The Proprietress, who founded the school in 2003 with just fourteen students under a mango tree, highlighted the challenges faced in its early years. Despite efforts to expand and accommodate more students, Mrs. Conteh lamented the lack of support from authorities, especially in securing additional space for the growing student population.
With 70% of the school’s teachers on government payroll, Mrs. Conteh emphasized the need for fair treatment and expressed concern about demotivation among teachers. Her appeal for the school’s expansion to accommodate all students has not yielded the desired results.
As Mrs. Conteh seeks answers and transparency in the school’s financial affairs, her call for ACC intervention underscores the importance of accountability in managing government funds allocated to educational institutions. SKS/23/1/2024