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Teach ethics in fight against corruption

Published:Tuesday | August 11, 2015 | 4:33 PM


Corruption is arguably the biggest threat to any country's long-term survival and development.

The current scandal plaguing Petrobras, Brazil's state oil company, should be a lesson for all of us.

Since the scandal broke, more than 100 politicians, business executives and public figures have been indicted in the ongoing corruption case. The corruption took place in the guise of a kickback scheme involving Rolex watches, yachts, helicopters, prostitutes, and money. The state oil company was overcharged by corrupt officials under a fake competition plan. It is alleged that Brazil's ruling party pocketed more than US$200 million, which was then used to finance political campaigns.

The time has come for Jamaica to develop a national school initiative to teach ethics and anti-corruption principles in our schools. We must make every effort to target our young people before they are overtaken by this culture of corruption. Ethics should be introduced as a separate subject in the curriculum. This subject should be mandatory for all students at the secondary level of the education system.

We need to work effortlessly to reverse our culture of bribery, falsification and get-rich-quick mentality to save Jamaica.