The sexual harassment bill
Sir: A situation where some students are graded for their proficiency in ‘totorial’ at the expense of those consistent at ‘tutorials’ is to say the least depressing. In as much as ‘honour killing’ as prevalent in Pakistan is alien to our culture, all practices that debase females must not be condoned. Succinctly, where students are giving in their best, it behoves on the teachers or lecturers as the case may be to appreciate such students by according them with grades commensurate with their level of hard work.
The Bill Prohibiting Sexual Harassment of Students by Educators in Nigerian Tertiary Educational Institutions, which was sponsored by Ovie Omo-Agege of Delta Central Senatorial District is commendable. Admittedly, sexual harassment is rife in many higher institutions in Nigeria, and there’s need for a law to eradicate it. This Bill stipulates a maximum of five years jail term without an option of fine for offenders.
It is established that students are always at the mercy of their lecturers in ivory towers. The roles of lecturers therein cannot be over-stated since they have the key to the exit gate of these students. This leaves students most especially females at the whims and caprices of some randy lecturers having neither sense of dignity nor regard for the self-esteem of their students.
There have been recurrent incidents of female students being turned into sex toys of their lecturers. Students that have the guts to decline this sex slavery have to endure graduating with poor grades or never making a headway in the courses taken by these lecturers, some of whom go the extra-mile to influence the uncompromising students’ results in other courses. In part, this discourages hardwork, while the society takes in the half-baked graduates with excellent grades, but excellently good for nothing.
It is important to note that sexual harassment in our ivory towers is not an isolated case, since same is prevalent in primary schools, secondary schools, work places, places of worship, and our individual homes where incest, marital rape are now the order of the day. Mediocrity has sub planted meritocracy, and has become an acclaimed cat-walking impudence.