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LET US EMBRACE OUR FALLIBILITIES AND RESIST OPPRESSORS’ RULE
Stephen Addo writes…
Watching BBC Africa Eye’s exposé titled, “Sex for Grades” has left me with much pain especially for being an African and a Ghanaian for that matter. My pain is not for the sake of the menace but the thought of when it will end. I personally do not think we needed this exposé to inform us of what exactly goes on in our various educational institutions because truly, we know that female students especially, are exposed to these happenings.
Girl-child education has always suffered this canker across almost all levels of education and sadly, these victims only have to swallow the bitter pill of this pain for some reasons. For most of such people, the very culture that frowns upon the menace also compels them to keep mute because of the concept of ‘respect for authority’ even if such persons of authority have no respect for themselves.
I have read comments and listened to the views of many who have opined that, these young ladies were not forced into any sexual activity and that, it is no crime for a lecturer to have sexual relations with his student, so long as the student is not a minor. It is rather sad that these people have taken that position on such a sensitive issue.
Admitting that these young ladies are not forced, neither are they minors, it should be noted that, for a lecturer in such a position to influence a student’s examination results, it is against professional ethics and educational standards to capitalize on the vulnerability of students to engage them in sexual activities in return of favours.
It is up to us as Africans and as Ghanaians to embrace this fact – our young ladies are going through these challenges and barely have anyone to report to. I have personally witnessed and received reports of how lecturers in some of these so-called Colleges of Education cunningly devised means to take advantage of these young ladies by promising them good grades on grounds of providing them with sexual satisfaction.
It is very disappointing how some people have resorted to jumping to the defense of lecturers for engaging in such a disgusting practice. Truth be told, in most cases, these students become victims, not because they genuinely yielded to the skeptical luring of these lecturers, but for fear of not being failed in their end of semester exams; because really, in most cases, these lecturers are in that position to do so.
From another perspective, one thing is clear with all persons – we all have a survival instinct and when there is the feeling that, this instinct will be trodden under foot, we are likely to go to every extent to shield our instinct – as long as our actions will be convenient for us. It happens all the time. What can’t man do on the altar of convenience? Our ladies must also try as much as possible to avoid luring these lecturers and protect themselves from such irregularities in the name of convenience. For all you now, some of these female students actually sit down and plan to get involved in such activities and it must be condemned.
We must accept that indeed, these things are happening to our female students and rise up against such matters and uphold our values, if we really have girl-child education at heart. For so long as we sit and stare unconcerned, we are digging a grave for the credibility of our educational institutions.
On the flip side also, I suggest that we revisit our National Anthem and re-read to ourselves the line that states, “…help us to resist oppressors’ rule with all our will and might…” I say this because, for all you know, the motivation behind the exposé is not just to signal us of the ongoing peril and the need to attend to that canker, but rather, to create an impression in the minds of others that our certificates have no credibility – especially our female students whereas, we actually have brilliant female students out there. I say so because, the said release has no concrete evidence to back the message it sought to communicate — sex for grades.
If we can work on ourselves as a people, we can equally resist oppressors’ rule.