Sexual Harassment in Universities  and the UNICAL Student Protest

Recently, students of the University of Calabar, UNICAL, took to the streets of the university to protest against a lecturer, Prof Cyril Ndifon, whom they accused of sexual molestation of female students. Prof Ndifon is the Dean of the Faculty of Law in the university.

The protesting students alleged that the said lecturer was in the habit of luring female students to his office to have sexual gratification in exchange for favourable marks in examinations. The said lecturer had only recently returned to the classroom after successfully appealing against his earlier suspension by the school over allegations of sexual harassment of female students, a case in which he was alleged to have forcibly had sex with a particular female student.

The case at UNICAL is not an isolated one as virtually all the universities in the country are guilty of same. While many of the universities have come up with several measures to guard against the ugly phenomenon, it has continued, leading to many believing that the school authorities in the various institutions are not doing enough.

Indeed, many students will readily claim that their schools are not doing enough and even playing down on such incidents. The protest at UNICAL is one example that such matters are not being well handled by the schools. For one, if the present matter had been well handled by the UNICAL authorities, the protest would not have happened.

Indeed, we have cause to believe that enough is not being done by the universities which is why incidences of such, keep reoccurring. Often times, the processes given to students by their schools to undergo when reporting such cases are too stringent as to discourage students from lodging reports.

Also, we understand that often times, the lecturers involved in sexual harassment of female students form a cartel cutting across faculties through which they protect one another, such that any report from students about any lecturer are killed before they get to higher authorities.

There is nothing as bad as sexually exploiting students, male or female, by lecturers in order to give them higher grades. Nothing kills quality as this malaise and it has been among the greatest contributors of the fallen standard in the nation’s educational system.

It is indeed, a very serious crime as those affected form the fulcrum of the nation’s future. When such people go on to occupy sensitive positions in government and in other spheres tomorrow, they pollute the system further, being that they are products of the rot in our educational system.

This is why the various universities are called upon to go all out to identify and punish lecturers who err in this direction. Such persons are not fit to operate in the ivory towers, or, indeed, anywhere at all in the public space.

The menace posed by randy lecturers must be stamped out of our university system if ever we want that system to return to its glory days.  We send our daughters to the university to learn and excel and not to be turned to prostitutes.We have had enough of this nonsense.