The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has reacted to the trending #SexforGrades scandal exposed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The body called for thorough investigation and appropriate sanction for lecturers indicted in the alleged scandal. Further, it noted that this was essential in order to sanitise the university system.
ASUU University of Lagos (UNILAG) Branch Chairman, Dr Dele Ashiru made the disclosure on on Tuesday in Lagos. Ashiru affirmed that the union was against all forms of unethical practices, including sexual harassment.
Ashiru was reacting to a viral British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) investigative video on the scandal. The video showed some lecturers of Universities of Lagos and Ghana sexually harassing female students.
“As a union, we are against all unethical practices among colleagues, including sexual harassment and even abuse. The development is very disturbing and unfortunate. We have appealed to colleagues to understand that as lecturers, we stand in ‘loco parentis’ (in the place of a parent) to these students and must not be perceived in any way of not being protective
“We condemn this act of shame in its entirety and want the matter to be thoroughly investigated. Also, appropriate sanction should be carried out on all those found culpable,” Ashiru told NAN.
On his part, Chimdi Maduagwu, Professor of English, also in UNILAG, said there was need for a social re-orientation of the lecturers and others.
According to him, it is about social scrutiny. Further, he called for enforcement of self-discipline, especially among the academic staff.
“There must be a way to look into and touch these things and water them down. Some of us tend to be wielding so much powers in the positions we find ourselves that we lose control even when there is absolutely need to draw the lines.
“An average lecturer could be so powerful that he sees himself as having all the powers to fail or award grades at his whims and caprices. I believe that quality assurance can take adequate charge of some of these ugly trends,” he said.