Mr Ike Onyechere, Chairman, Exam Ethics Marshal International (EEMI) says there is no form of justification for the illicit act of lecturers demanding sex from female students to give them marks in tertiary institutions.
Onyechere made this assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, while reacting to Prof. Peter Okebukola, former Executive Secretary, National University Commission (NUC) recent media publication.
He said that Okebukola in his interview with NAN, which was widely reported on various media outlets blamed the act on academically weak students, who lure the lecturers for marks.
He added that it was a despicable act and should not be encouraged or justified under any guise but should be outrightly condemned.
The Ethics Marshal, who described Okebukola as a man of integrity, said that the issue of sex-for-marks, which was ravaging Nigeria’s tertiary institutions should be put in proper perspective.
“I completely disagree with Professor Okebukola for blaming academically weak students for the sex-for-mark extortion rackets currently ravaging Nigerian higher institutions.
“Blaming academic weak female student is providing another form of justification, which randy lecturers will use to neutralize their consciences and justify the sexual harassment of female students, some of whom are old enough to be their grand children.
“Sex-for-marks is a rampant type of exam malpractice, whereby morally debased male lecturers and professors blatantly extort sex from intimidated female students in order to award them favourable marks, grades and degrees.
“It is a sub-set of what students refer to as sorting, which means sorting out lecturers by simply paying them for marks and degrees even without sitting for exams, for the male students they pay with cash and other material benefits.’’
Onyechere said EEMI had been involved in cases and received various reports citing an example of where the female student was asked to pay for the hotel room and buy Viagra and a bottle of stout to enable the lecturer perform sexually.
He said that a nationwide survey conducted by the EEMI in 2014 showed that not less than N50 billion was extorted from students in tertiary institutions, saying that each session over 200,000 female students were also subjected to sexual extortions.
He explained that many students cough out N25,000 to N50,000 every session to settle lecturers, saying it has a lot of psychological, sociological, economical and educational consequences that cannot be underrated.
He added that their findings were gotten through undercover work of their Exam Ethics Students Against Sorting (EESAS) marshals, adding that they have even caught some lecturers pants down.
The Ethics Marshal disclosed that from their survey any good looking girl, who catches the fancy of the lecturer was a potential victim whether academically weak or not and anyone, who refused to comply were usually failed irrespective of their performance.
“The scale, scope and pervasiveness of sex-for-marks and other forms of examination malpractice raises one fundamental question:
“Why are the learned professors and lecturers involved in perpetrating malpractice in spite of their understanding of the dangerous consequences?
” The answer lies in what psychologists call neutralisation, where they come up with excuses to rationalise their fraudulent activities, thereby neutralizing their sense of guilt.”
He cautioned lecturers involved in the act to stop as every action and reaction had spiritual consequences.
He added that education sector would never surrender to exam malpractice, no matter how long it would take to cage the monster.
NAN recalls that Okebukola in an interview with NAN on the Oct. 16 had said, “If in the first instance a student is academically good, what will a lecturer tell her, sex-for-which mark?
“All those girls, who run after those lecturers or can be harassed by lecturers are those who are academically weak, even if the lecturer do not want to engage with them sexually, they offer their bodies.’’(NAN)