……tasks V-Cs to name, shame sanctioned culprits
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, has admitted that the commission’s biggest challenge is allegations of sexual harassments of female students levelled against lecturers of tertiary institutions.
Prof. Rasheed made the admission on Monday, in a keynote address he delivered at the 33rd annual conference of the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) which held at the Redeemer’s University in Ede, Osun State.
The Executive Secretary who spoke on the theme: ‘Revitalisation of University Education in Nigeria, challenged the Vice Chancellors to publish the names of lecturers found wanting over allegations of sexual harassment of their students.
Prof. Rasheed said that since he took over the leadership of the NUC two years ago, he and his team had been working on reforms to improve the standard of university education in the country, noting that the reforms had been working and helping to reduce the ratio of corruption in the university system.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]“This is one area of academic corruption we are fighting. If lecturers that were told not to take advantage of innocent girls and boys in the universities decide to do so because they have the power to award marks, then we will equally fight them,” Rasheed said.[/penci_blockquote]
“Our major crisis now is sexual harassment. Whether we like it or not, I want to charge the AVCNU at this meeting to make it a priority in the communique, to take a decisive action on this challenge.
“The universities should be willing to punish and stamp out the incidences of sexual harassment, because it is damaging to our collective reputation; and we just have to do something.
“Please say it and do it; and whenever you punish or sanction somebody in this regard, let your effort be duly publicised.
“Let the world know that somebody has lost his or her job because of sexual harassment or somebody has been demoted from being a Professor to Lecturer1 because of sexually harassing a student.
“We, in the NUC, will be helping you. We can be collecting the names of the offenders monthly and advertising in all the newspapers to expose them as culprits of sexual harassment, because we are determined to fight them.
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“This is one area of academic corruption we are fighting. If lecturers that were told not to take advantage of innocent girls and boys in the universities decide to do so because they have the power to award marks, then we will equally fight them,” Rasheed said.
The host Vice Chancellor of the conference. Prof. Debo Adeyewa, disclosed that V-Cs and other stakeholders have been coming together to exchange ideas aimed at finding lasting solutions to challenges in the tertiary education.
He urged the leadership of the university system to embrace a courageous vision of quality higher education in the service of humanity, adding that this could be achieved through innovation as well as strengthening of local and international collaborations in research and teaching.