It is a known fact that there is the practice of sex-for-grades on many university campuses in West Africa.
There’s been cases where lecturers have been implicated; case in point, the three University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA) lecturers who were reportedly engaged in the practice and in recent times, some lecturers at the University of Ghana.
Those are the few known ones, how about the many unheard voices that remain hidden for various reasons.
To be fair, some girls perhaps may have created the wrong impression on lecturers by offering themselves as ‘living sacrifices’ on ‘altars’ when they see their terrible performances, essentially for better grades.
Doesn’t change the element of deliberate exploitation by some professors in universities in exchange for grades. But why do these girls keep it in, not report to school authorities or at least confide in individuals they believe can help them out, especially with the knowledge that all universities have policies against sexual harassment and involvement between lecturers and students.
Ghanaweb spoke to some of these victims from various universities in Ghana; AUCC, University of Ghana and the Ghana Institute of Journalism
Here’s what a few of them had to say; NB: These voices are altered for purposes of anonymity:
“Who are you going to report to in the first place? And you don’t really have evidence because probably the person was talking to you about it and as at that time, you couldn’t record or video it or anything. And you know that thing where people think we ladies we push ourselves on these lecturers. Sometimes as a girl, you don’t want people thinking that about you and you don’t really have people supporting you, you can’t really defend yourself. So you may just tell one or two people who are close to you and forget about it,” A victim said.
“I didn’t report it because I was scared. I was scared because already I didn’t know the grade I was going to get and since he demanded sex and I didn’t give it to him, even if I had done well and I reported him, I felt he would change the grades so I got scared and I didn’t contact him again. He didn’t have my school ID so I thought it was fine and even if he knew, he could have changed it. I didn’t want to take any step that will temper with my grade,” another victim said.
"I managed to swerve him and therefore didn't take the next step of reporting him since he agreed to stay away from me. I will advise students to take on any lecturer who threatens to fail them after turning down their proposal. I actually had a 'C' in that course even though I deserved better,” said another.
“I have a position in the school and I didn’t want to complicate things by coming out with this, I just wanted to complete school and just leave, but I know someday, they are going to catch him.