Vice Chancellors get tough on “sex for marks”
In the wake of increased sexual harassment scandals in universities, Vice Chancellors under their umbrella association – the Universities Vice Chancellors’ forum of Uganda have resolved to decisively deal with any staff implicated in the scandals.
According to the forum’s chairperson Prof Badru Ddungu Kateregga of Kampala University, bosses of both private and public universities agreed to get tough on lecturers that trade marks for sex and money.
“We (Vice chancellors) are aware that this vice which is eating up most universities and we greatly condemn those involved; lately suspensions have been effected to the perpetuators but we are now considering putting up a more serious punishment to deter others,” Prof Kateregga said.
Kateregga was on Sunday speaking at the close of his University’s 3-day inter-campus cultural gala festival at Masaka campus.
The cultural gala was organised under a theme “Our culture, our identity, what went wrong.”
Kateregga said that the Vice Chancellors had noted the negative impact sexual harassment of female students has had the quality of education in various Universities.
He said the vice had also sunk the dignity of lecturers before their students.
Sexual harassment scandals are lately more pronounced at Makerere University where the university authorities have so far suspended two members of staff.
First to be suspended was Dr Swizen Kyomuhendo, a lecturer at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) whose evil dealings were exposed in an investigative story aired by NBS TV early in March.
On April 17, the university suspended Edward Kisuze, an administrative assistant in the Academic Registrar’s department was suspended after a former student, Racheal Njoroge Njeri accused the official of having sexually assaulted her.
Besides looking at these cases as merely sexual harassment, the vice chancellors are also classifying them as cases of corruption.
“We are against any form of corruption and especially when it comes to buying marks, whoever is involved must be punished; though we will need evidence to catch up those spoiling our education system,” Kateregga said.
Among the measures that the vice chancellors are taking to root the vice out of the universities is to ensure that the perpetrators never get employed again in any university within the East African Community.
This will be enforced through the Inter-University Council of East Africa.
He advised public and private Universities to adopt the use of Education Information System (EIF) where examinations are entered immediately they are marked to avoid alterations in pursuit of personal gains.
“Failure to have identified such habits in private institutions doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, they do, though are done behind curtains; however we also caution male and female students who may wish to entice lecturers that are also risking losing their academic carrier,” Kateregga said.
The 11th Kampala University inter-campus cultural gala started on Friday with activities that included community service at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital where students donated blood, basic necessities to mothers at maternity ward.
Jolly Shubaiha Kateregga, the director for marketing says an annual festival was started with the intention of teaching preservation of African culture which seems to be deteriorating in this modern error.
“Culture is what identifies from others and with such events, we are able to exhibit the actual cultural norms and compare them with the current western norms that we think are worth to be followed in order to realise why Africa behaves the way it does,” Shubaiha said.