- By Ngozi Ekhator
One thousand, seven hundred change agents have signed the on-line petition to Nigeria’s National Assembly to fast track action on passage of Sexual Harassment in Educational Institutions Prohibition Bill as at Monday, November 18, 2019.
Fifty-six per cent of the petitioners are women why 44% are men, indicating that the men and women are almost equally concerned about sex-for-grades pandemic in tertiary institutions.
Change agents, education stakeholders and concerned parents, husbands, relations lecturers, students, etc who are yet to sign the petition are encouraged to sign and join the Global Sex for Grade Prohibition Movement by clicking on the link:
The petition for fast track sex-for-grade prohibition legislation, activated on November 1, 2019, by Exam Ethics Marshals International (EEMI) is in continuation of the Exam Ethics Campaign launched in 1996 to promote exam ethics and combat exam malpractice in education in Africa. Sex-for-Grade is one of the thirty-three (33) types of exam malpractice that have been the focus of the campaign.
Sex-for-Grade is the practice of male lecturers blackmailing, forcing, intimidating and demanding sex from their female students as condition for awarding them pass marks in their courses.
The petition to Nigeria’s National Assembly has inspired other petitions for passage of similar sexual harassment prohibition laws in educational institutions in seven other African countries including Ghana, Liberia, Tanzania, South Africa, Benin Republic, Egypt and Rwanda.
Change agents and education stakeholders have joined in the campaign from sixteen other countries across the world including United States of America, United Kingdom, Ireland, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Russia, Philippines, Jamaica, Canada, India, Italy, Luxemburg, Indonesia, Australia and Sri-lanka. That the petition has transformed into a Global Sex for Grade Prohibition Movement (SPM) confirms that sexual harassment in education is a matter of serious concern in countries around the world.
In addition to signing the petition, some petitioners are also sharing their experiences. Ex-female students narrate stories of their traumatic experiences in the hands of some of their male lecturers; some female students narrate stories of what they are currently going through; and parents tell stories of experiences of their children. The story paints the picture of invasion of tertiary institutions by sexual predators masquerading as lecturers.
A remarkable nature of all the stories so far received is that they revolve around harassment of female students by male lecturers. There is no single report of a male student being sexually harassed by a female lecturer. There is also no single report of a male lecturer being harassed by female students. There are complains, however, by some male lecturers regarding “irresistible temptations from scantly dressed, satanically tasty female students”.
The global indignation against sex-for-grade pandemic in tertiary institutions is justified. Sex-for grade combines all the elements of destruction of education and society: moral debasement, terrorization and life-long psychological traumatization of our daughters, grand daughters, sisters; wives, girlfriends; examination malpractice and academic dishonesty of the worst type; planting seeds of immorality in the fertile minds of youths; criminalization of admission, teaching, examination and certification processes in education; and introduction to and breeding of recruits for corruption, scams, prostitution and other vices.
They are exemplary Lecturers who demonstrate that they are indeed among society’s best and brightest in terms of character and learning; rendering service to God and humanity as mentors and models of their students; serving their purposes as reservoirs of knowledge and wisdom, intellectuals, thinkers; men and women of highly specialized skills to whom society looks upon for the thunder of new ideas; on whose shoulders lie the responsibility of molding the raw materials of minds and brains of youths into agents of transformation.
Ethics-friendly Lecturers and Management of some institutions are rising to the challenge of fishing out and removing the deviants with bold, courageous, commendable and award-winning administrative actions including suspensions and sacks. But strong legislative and legal framework is required to put the sexual predators out of circulation and stop them from moving into other institutions to continue perpetrating havoc.
It is against this background that Exam Ethics salutes the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and other members of the Nigerian Senate for pushing the Sexual harassment prohibition bill. The passage of the second reading of the bill on 6th November 2019 was celebrated by Sex for Grade Prohibition Movement (SPM). We are aware, however, that the bill still has a long way to go through the Senate and the House of Representatives before presentation to Mr. President for ascent into law.
We are also painfully aware that the first effort to pass this bill started in 2016. And that the effort died with the termination of the 8th Assembly. Hence the determination of the Sex for Grade prohibition Movement to sustain the petition and campaign until the law is promulgated and enforced.
Please sign and join the Movement, if you have not already done so, by clicking on the link
The petition will be formally presented to the National Assembly as climax of National Consultative Conference of Education Leaders for Combating Campus Cultism and Sex-for-Grade scheduled to hold in Abuja from 9th to 13th December, 2019.