University Director Condemns “Sex for Marks”
The Director of Directorate of Quality Assurance in Cross River University of Technology, Dr. Emmanuel Obi, has condemned the practice of demanding or offering sex for marks by some lecturers and students of some universities in Nigeria, stating that the practice tampers with quality and merit.
He made the condemnation yesterday in his office, while receiving fliers and posters that advocate against “sex for marks”. The posters and fliers were delivered by Mr Cornelius Ellah, a Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication in Cross River University of Technology. Mr Ellah delivered the posters and fliers on behalf of Sofadondo, an advocacy group that comprises like-minded persons who campaign against sexual victimization and extortion of students in Nigerian universities.
During the brief occasion, Dr. Obi faulted universities for being too lenient in the admission of students and said that this “permissive” trend encourages the existence of “sex for marks” and similar vices in universities.
According to him, Cross River University of Technology for instance, admitted 5,500 students last year. He explained: “Anybody who scores 150 and above in JAMB, the university would find a way of admitting such a person in one department or another. Most of these persons are not materials that should come to a university. The students are not even prepared to work hard.
“If they are not working hard and a Lecturer decides to make certain demands, they would be very willing to comply because they are very gullible. But if they were screening the students well, the students would not easily get deceived. Unfortunately, it would be difficult for us to implement thorough screening of students because we need school fees from them to be able to pay salaries. That is where we find ourselves.”
Dr. Obi also attributed the existence of “sex for marks” to the unethical conduct of some Lecturers. He said: “My own wife was my student. But you don’t force a girl to sleep with you just because she is your student. Some lecturers give the students the impression that there is an alternative. When you give the students the impression that there is an alternative to working hard, most lazy students would prefer the alternative. They just say ‘is it not to go and sleep with him? Even if he sleeps with me he would use a condom. That means that he has not even done anything to me.’ Who says he has not done anything to you?” he asked.
The Director of Quality Assurance stated that “sex for marks” could be curtailed, if authorities of universities get thorough with screening of candidates that seek for admission. He added that it could also be minimized if authorities of universities admit students to study the courses that such students apply for in University Matriculation Examination (UME), rather than courses that are unrelated to their original choices.
He said: “When I was Head of Department of Physics, I always told the Vice Chancellor that the quality of students you give to us would affect their performance. Some of these students want to read Biological Sciences but because the chances there are filled, they push them to go and read Physics. They don’t have a flair for Physics and definitely cannot do well in it.
“So please, if a student did not originally apply to read a particular course, such a student should not be pushed to read an unrelated course.”
Therefore, Dr. Obi thanked Sofadondo for advocating against “sex for marks”. He stated that the Directorate of Quality Assurance in Cross River University of Technology exists to ensure quality in all aspects of academics and disclosed that for this reason, the Directorate is already carrying out a similar campaign against “sex for marks” and other vices in all campuses of the university.
It would be recalled that recently, authorities of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife dismissed Professor Richard Akindele of the Department of Management and Accounting in that University, after a panel found him guilty of sexual misconduct against Monica Osagie, his student. That was after an alleged audio conversation involving bargain for sex between Professor Akindele and Miss Osagie went viral in the social media. That audio conversation and its outcome attracted fresh public attention to the malady of “sex for marks” in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, posters and fliers of Sofadondo enjoins victims of “sex for marks” to report cases of abuse to firstname.lastname@example.org for redress. Sofadondo exists on Twitter and Facebook as @sofadondo.
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah