Mr Richard Quayson, the Deputy Chairman, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), has attributed the country’s unending corruption phenomenon to the lack of proper character formation of the citizens.
He has, thus, charged parents, managers of the educational system, and religious organisations to step up efforts at instilling in the youth, a “spirit of integrity” to address issues of corruption and other vices that impeded national development.
Mr Quayson was speaking at the 2nd Annual Integrity School by the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), at the University of Ghana campus, in Accra.
He said corruption, indiscipline, and lawlessness had become major threats impeding national growth and development particularly, in the quest to achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid development agenda.
“Every society has a duty to teach its children and youth the value of obedience, which produces responsible, helpful, and law-abiding citizens. This promotes unity, peaceful co-existence, progress, and human dignity in the nation. If the value of obedience is not taught and inculcated in us, we will end up with a chaotic society where there’s a flagrant disregard for law and order as is witnessed today.
“The indiscipline we see is a culmination of years of poor socialisation and orientation of our educational system, formal and informal,” Mr Quayson said.
The Annual Integrity School was initiated in 2019 to instill in the youth, good moral principles of integrity, transparency, and accountability and create spaces for them to interact and engage on issues of anti-corruption in governance.
Funded by Global Affairs, Canada, the programme also aimed at building a generation of anti-corruption change agents or champions who would sustain the crusade against corruption and create an alumni network for continuous dialogue among beneficiaries.
This year’s programme was held on the theme: “Promoting Integrity and Anti-Corruption Among the Youth.”
Mr Quayson said the Commission together with the GII, Ministry of Education and Ghana Education Service, would from next year, roll out the School Integrity Project to reinforce integrity and patriotism among the youth, to drive national development.
“The Project aims at incentivising schools to actively engage in innovative programmes that will build integrity, discipline, and patriotism in students, and create an ethical environment for nurturing students into good citizens,” he said.
Ms Josephine Nkrumah, Chairperson, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), commended GII for playing a lead role in the fight against corruption.
She cautioned the youth against doing the bidding of politicians and promote peace and development saying: “As ambassadors of integrity, the youth should be good influencers as we are in an election year for them to contribute towards a peaceful election.”
Mrs Linda Ofori-Kwafo, Executive Director, GII said the youth were critical in the development of any society and if brought up well, would play a leading role in the socio-economic development of every country.
She said building the capacity of the youth to help in the fight against corruption, therefore, remained the topmost priority of the organisation.
She noted that even though the country had made a stride in the use of civic education through institutional developments and legislative revolutions to tackle corruption, more needed to be done if the canker was to be a thing of the past.
Mr Philip Kwasi Banini, Co-Founder, IWatch Africa called on the youth to have a renewed mind-set to enable the country to win the corruption fight.