Engaging Jamaican youth in the fight against corruption
“Say NO to Corruption” campaign poster signed by the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt.
Contractor General, Dirk Harrison, talks to Jamaican students about corruption and how it can negatively affect their future.
Youth panel participants present examples of corruption and the negative consequences it has on Jamaican society.
Jamaica’s public anti-corruption campaign highlights student-designed poster.
This was just one of the events that the Canadian High Commission in Jamaica supported in 2015 in partnership with national organizations in a campaign to increase awareness and encourage youth involvement in efforts to fight corruption.
"Non-participation is not an option; we must stand against corruption!"exclaimed Jamaica's Contractor General, Dirk Harrison, to students at the #YouthAgainstCorruption event at Edith Dalton James High School in Kingston, Jamaica on December 10 - the International Day Against Corruption.
Ending corruption – key to a flourishing democracy
No country is entirely free of corruption. However, if corruption is deep enough it can hinder economic growth and good governance, and decay the fabric of society.
“Corruption robs citizens of their rights, undermines the rule of law and reduces economic growth.”
Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Sylvain Fabi
Spreading the word with influential youth
The High Commission supported Jamaica’s Office of the Contractor General to hold their first conference on corruption in government. The conference featured a half day of activities for youth, including a presentation by the Jamaican Youth Theatre which dramatized acts of corruptionthat take place in everyday life.
In partnership with Jamaica’s Office of the Minister of Sport, the High Commission ran the campaign "Champions don't cheat - say no to corruption" at the Boys and Girls Track and Field Championships - one of the largest high school level athletics event in the world. The world’s fastest man and woman, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser Price endorsed the theme of the campaign.
The Contractor General’s Anti-Corruption Essay and Poster Contest
Youth from across Jamaica entered into an anti-corruption essay and poster contest that highlighting both the ways in which corruption can manifest in everyday life and the negative effects it has on society. The High Commission was pleased to participate in the awards ceremony.
The winning poster submissions were featured during the Canadian Regional Education Fair in Kingston and Montego Bay. The fair gave Jamaican students from more than 40 high schools across the country an opportunity to meet with the Contractor General. At the fair, students discussed corruption and were encouraged get involved in anti-corruption efforts in their communities.
To mark International Day against Corruption, the winning poster was also included in a public advocacy campaign coordinated by the High Commission and the Contractor General. The design and anti-corruption message was included on billboards and public transport in both Kingston and Montego Bay.
Canada strongly supports international efforts to combat corruption. The fight to stop corruption is a long one, but worth the effort.
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Education is a fundamental human right and a major driver of human and economic development. It strengthens personal integrity and shapes the societies in which we live. Since education typically comprises 20-30 per cent of a country’s budget, it is critically prone to corruption, from national education ministries to local schools and universities.
The cost of corruption is high. Stolen resources from education budgets mean overcrowded classrooms and crumbling schools, or no schools at all. Books and supplies are sometimes sold instead of being given out freely. Schools and universities also ‘sell’ school places or charge unauthorised fees, forcing students (usually girls) to drop out. Teachers and lecturers are appointed through family connections, without qualifications. Grades can be bought, while teachers force students to pay for tuition outside of class. In higher education, undue government and private sector influence can skew research agendas.
The end result is limited access to – and poor quality of – education, and a social acceptance of corruption through a corrupted education system. The solution?