•••Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each••• Plato
Sexual harassment and violence in educational institutions is an abuse of power by our lecturers which corrupts the Education system. It also have other severe consequences such as leading to girls Dropping out.
Sexual violence in education ranges from low-level gratuitous actions to convey messages of power – such as inappropriate sexualised comments or gestures, or unwanted physical contact such as touching, pinching or groping – through to threats of exam failure, punishment or public ridicule, sexual assault and rape.
According to our report on rape, sexual assault and media coverage of individual cases, the statistics show that in educational settings girls students most time experience sexual violence, perpetrated by Lecturers.
In our higher education, it often involves sex in exchange for good grades or leaked exam questions, and sometimes also admission to an institution or to a high-status course. “The price of resistance is likely to be failure or exclusion.There is also considerable under-reporting by students who fear victimisation, including being failed in tests and exams, stigmatisation or ridicule; or because they believe that no action will be taken against the perpetrator if they report incidents.
This lead to Female students, being deterred from participating actively in class and seeking academic excellence for fear of attracting unwanted attention from Lecturers. This creates a stressful and intimidating Learning environment, lowers concentration, motivation and contributes to poor performance.
It also create “Uncertainty among our parents as to the benefits of educating their children, in particular girls”, where such fears may lead parents to terminate their daughters’ Education at an early age, with implications for future Careers and improved Socio-economic status.
According to our Statistics, there are high levels of dropout among female students who became pregnant, some as a result of sexual liaisons with Lecturers. Pregnancy usually signals the end of the girl’s Education. Perpetrators are mostly Lecturers and administrative staff. Where it has been addressed, it has targeted peer-on-peer violence without recognising staff complicity.”
It got to our notice that, not only that the sexual exploitation of female students by male lecturers is widespread, but also that the latter appear to act with impunity, “Suggesting that it has become, if not endemic, at least an accepted and ‘normal’ part of school life here in Nigeria”.
All this happened here because of our poorly resourced education systems, low levels of accountability and high levels of poverty and gender inequality. The prevalence in higher education appears to be even greater, with many male Lecturers dismissively laying the blame on female students for dressing or behaving provocatively.
We the Executive memebers of National Association of Nigerian Students Joint Campus Committee Lagos Axis, which is the mother body of all Students hereby call on our University, Polytechnic and Colleges of Education management to call on their Staffs and give them the necessary training or Preferably Sex Education training just to Educate them more and avoid sexual harrassment of Students again in the state.
If any of such act should repeat itself again by any Lecturer or administrative staffs in any of the Institution under our domain here in Lagos, students are advised to report any act of Sexual harassment by Lecturers or administrative staffs in their school to any of their SUG Executives or kindly Contact the NANS Chairman through any Executive members of NANS JCC Lagos in their Instituition.
We wont hesitate to take it up by Exposing such Lecturer and promise to fight it to the End. And if there is need for us using our last ‘C’ which is CONFRONTATION. As the Welfarism of students still remain a Cardinal thrust of this Current Administration of NANS JCC Lagos under my Watch.
Comrade Busari AbdulQowiyy Adelaja is the Chairman National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) ,Lagos Chapter.