Barrister Arinze Odiari, National Coordinator of Sofadondo, has enjoined Lecturers in tertiary institutions to play proactive roles in the campaign against “Sex for Marks” by living up to the trust that is reposed on them as models of high ethical standards.
Speaking on TVC News as guest of “Your View”, a program of that television station whose topics of discussion today included “depression” as well as “sex for marks”, Barrister Arinze recalled that when he was growing up, his Teachers played active roles in his training and upbringing. He said: “When I was young, when I see my Teacher on the street, I run. I am careful. I want to be sure that I am doing the right thing because the Teacher has that authority over me.”
Therefore, he said that Lecturers should retain that aura of authority and responsiveness by being able to say “no”, even if their students dare to proposition sex in exchange for marks.
According to Sofadondo’s National Coordinator, “The Lecturer has a higher stake here. The Lecturer can report the student. The Lecturer can come to class and tell the class that ‘look what your colleague has done’. The Lecturer can say ‘no’ because if so much is given to you, there is this trust issue here. We have a lot on the Lecturer. It’s like your Pastor, your Doctor, he is the higher authority so he needs to take charge.”
He said Sofadondo sensitizes tertiary institutions and the public on the perils of “Sex for Marks” and “Marks for Sex’’ in schools and encourages victims of those vices to speak out in order to get redress.
Barrister Arinze regretted that some university students do not know how things work in the university system, adding that such students wrongly assume that Lecturers have limitless powers that can never be questioned. He said: “The buck doesn’t stop at the Lecturer’s table…. Your exam script is actually not the Lecturer’s property. It is the university’s property. So you can challenge that and take it up.”
Similarly, Tope Mark-Odigie, a member of the crew of “Your View”, argued that it is wrong to attribute sexually deviant habits of some Lecturers to the sexually provocative dressing styles of some students. She said: “It is extremely irritating for any human being to give excuse for an adult…. There is no under aged Lecturer. Every Lecturer is an adult in custody of young minds and young children.
“So if for any reason that child is impulsive and comes to meet you naked, the expectation is you are an adult. It plays into the narrative that men are dogs, they are controlled by their body, they are visual, anything they see they would just follow.
“They are adults and they are human beings and they can control their impulses. Every Lecturer that is found guilty of any sexual immorality should be punished by everybody.”
Meanwhile, Morenike, a telephone caller on the program, said that the menace of sex for marks starts in secondary schools “where little children would go to Teachers and beg to change their marks so that they can take these grades home to parents.” For that reason, she enjoined parents to try not to exert pressure about grades on their children.
Also, Chuks, another telephone caller on the program, proposed that students should be encouraged to read for marks. He said: “Let’s have it in mind that Lecturers go after the students that don’t know anything. The First Class Students, Lecturers don’t go after them. We should try to re-orient our students to read their books well.”
It would be recalled that “Read for Marks” is the theme of Sofadondo’s current advocacy campaign as the organization marks its first anniversary of establishment in April 2019.
Facebook: Cornelius Ellah