Varsities should introduce sexual harassment code to tackle abuse, says don
President and Chief Executive Officer, Postgraduate School of Credit and Financial Management, Prof Chris Onalo has called on the nation’s tertiary institutions to introduce sexual harassment code in schools to check abuse from lecturers and students.
Prof Onalo who spoke against the backdrop of the sex-for-grades documentary released last week by BBC West Africa involving two lecturers of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) described the action of the embattled teachers as shameful and called on administrators of the country’s ivory towers to urgently address the trend.
Onalo said the administrators must reassure parents and the international community of the sanctity of the university system.
“It is most unfortunate that a man at that level could not control himself, what I expect from this and I think what the university authority should do is to take a firm position so as to serve as deterrent to other people and also to gain the confidence of the family and other students who are morally upright.
“You see my position is, the ladies, unfortunately, seem to have come to terms with the fact that they do not have to read, somebody else would do it for them, but the labour market would prove them wrong eventually. I was thinking that the employers of labour would be able to speak more on this because generally speaking, it is not sex- for-grades that has brought about the low academic standard, when you see a graduate from any Nigerian university, you are always disappointed because they do not give attention to reading and I do not think that the outcome of that is because lecturers in the universities are deliberately failing them because the females refuse to yield to their request, so what about the male students? Is it the same scenario?
“I think the universities themselves should wake up to reengineer and overhaul their system that would create more seriousness in the study by students while lecturers should control themselves.
“Sexual harassment code must be published on their websites as well as in information leaflets that go to the students. They must make it a very important item for moral firmament that must be observed by student union authorities so that it can get quickly across to the students, and some of the men that are easy in releasing themselves to committing this sexual monster would remember the consequences and that would help them to retreat their steps.
He added, “The university system should also do some kind of internal research to find out why the young ones turned a university into a fashion place? The students are all the time on the road, all the time in one form of outlook that entices, what is the motivation? I think that if there are no sacred cows, the university authorities should be able to institute internal research to find out why students prefer looking nice than to face their studies, something is lying down there that nobody is talking about it.”
Meanwhile, a group, World Alliance Against Terrorism, Violence and Inhuman Treatment (WAATVIT) has implored governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to investigate cases of sexual harassment across higher institutions in Lagos.
Drawing from the incident of sexual harassment reported by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the group, in a statement by its President, Dr Anthony Orunkoya argued that it would amount to great injustice if Lagos State that prides itself as centre of excellence shuts its eyes to the reported incidence.
“Sexual harassment is a menace in the public and private sector hence must be attacked by the government’s proactive actions. In furtherance to this, an inquiry into issues of sexual harassment for promotion, job employment, and others in private and public agencies should be carried out by this present administration in Lagos State and culprits of such acts should be punished. The government must as a matter of urgency set up a commission that members of the public can make complains to on issues of sexual harassment.”
The body noted that in the special case of the allegation against Dr Boniface igbenegbu, the world is watching to see how justice will be served.