Sexual abuse in schools

The rempant sexual abuse in schools and workplace has become a major concern to some female students in the Upper West Regional Capital, Wa, who called for amore punitive measures against the perpetrators of such crime.

This, according to them, would serve as a deterrent to others and pave the way for female students to study in peace.

They contended that nothing was more dehumanising than a leturer or a teacher wanting to have sexual intercourse with a student or pupil before awarding them  marks

The students who spoke to “The Spectator” on the sidelines of a street Campaign Against Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) at the workplace stated that while the practice militated against the performance of student-victims, it served as fortile grounds for the perpetuation of unfair treatment  against students who earned their marks genuinely without resorting to amorous relationships with their lecturers.

Ms Ramatu Mohammed a Level 300 student of a university in the country (name withheld) stated that a lecturer of hers had expressed unpleasant interest in her and had promised to offer her good grades if she succumbed to his sexual  advances.

“Women in Ghana are really suffering from sexual violence; in schools and at the workplaces. In my case, although I did not respond positively to the amorous advances from my lecturer, I felt awkward each time I encountered this lecturer and I was fortunate that he did not temper with my grades for refusing his advances.”

She said  there had been instances where some colleagues of hers had failed certain subjects not because they were not capable of passing but because they refused a lecturer’s advances.

“Some students also harass lecturers for grades which in  fact does not paint a good picture of the real abilities of the trainees at the institutions but the most common ones are the lecturers on students”, she added.

Another student ,Jude Aa-nsukun, also stated that harassment of students in schools was rife as some male lecturers took advantage of female students in exchange for good grades.

He called for more stringent measures and punishment to deal with such abuses  by perpetrators and also protect victims physically, emotionally and academically.

Ms Adiza Rahman added that improper dressing was not even the problem as many people thought because  she used to dress decently when she was in school, but still suffered such sexual advances from some lecturers as well as some colleague male students.

“Sometimes male students can touch ladies in places they find offensive and when they complain, the men think the ladies are being ‘difficult’ but that is actually an abuse because the lady has not entered into any agreement with the man to warrant such act”, she said.

She believed robust sexual abuse policies for institutions would help solve the problem and also encourage female students who suffered such abuse to seek redress at the appropriate place.

The campaign was orgnaised by the ActionAid Ghana in the region as part of its activities under the Zero-Violence project with funding from the Foreign Common Wealth and Development Office of the UK Government.

From Lydia Darlington Fordjour, Wa

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