A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana has advocated the return to the basics in finding a solution to the menace of sexual harassment in schools.
According to Dr. Samuel Nkumbaan, recommending books like ‘Courtesy for Boys & Girls’ can help reduce the menace among students.
“We are so fast to think about what will benefit [us] in many respects and that is what we have our eyes fixed on. So, I think we need to re-look at our curriculum from the basic level.”
He was contributing to a discussion on TV3’s The Key Points on Saturday, October 12 as regards the sex-for-grades exposé by the BBC.
The documentary focused on two major West African universities – University of Lagos in Nigeria and University of Ghana in Ghana.
Some lecturers were caught on tape making sexual advances at students, a situation that has led to punitive decisions taken against them.
Unilag, for instance, suspended Dr Boniface Igbeneghu and Dr Samuel Oladipo while Legon interdicted Professor Ransford Yaw Gyampo and Dr Paul Kwame Butakor after the airing of the documentary.
On measures to staunch the phenomenon at the various institutions, Dr Nkumbaan, who is also the President of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG)-Legon, observes that subjects such as Religious & Moral Education (RME) have been scrapped from the curriculum, making it difficult to instill discipline in children at the school level.
“So, it is kind of difficult to see where to begin,” he lamented despite calling for seriousness in the implementation of laws to curb this canker: “I think that if we are to get more serious with our legal systems, many of what is happening will at least come down to some extent.”
His proposal for the use of the Courtesy For Boys & Girls was strongly countered by another senior lecturer, Professor Audrey Gadzekpo, who was also a panelist on the programme.
“I don’t think the solution is Courtesy For Boys & Girls,” she insisted, “because I can’t resist saying that sometimes that courtesy is a problem.”
She argued that the society has been cultured in a way that it is difficult for young people to “challenge authority or older people”.
She recommended the family as the first port of call in socializing boys and girls against so-called sexual predators.
She mentioned the educational system, the media as well as peers as other vectors in shaping the young.
“So, if we do not work on all those levels, we will not be able to crack the nut.”