General News of Thursday, 10 October 2019
The Dean of Student Affairs of the University of Ghana, Professor Godfred Alufar Bokpin, has said the institution frowns on ‘sex-for-grades’, a reason it has in the last three years dismissed lecturers who have been found guilty in that regard.
Prof. Bokpin in an interview with GhanaWeb on the heels of allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against two lecturers of the nation’s premier university – Prof. Ransford Gyampo of the Department of Political Science and Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor of the Department of Teacher Education of the School of Education and Leadership – denied claims the university protects staff or students who have engaged in sexual harassment.
According to him, recommendations made by committees set to investigate cases are adhered to, and that includes sacking the lecturers involved.
“We have made progress because some lecturers have been sacked in the last two-three years,” he said. “Perhaps the university hasn’t gone to the next level of actually making a publication in the dailies. When the university gets evidence, some drastic decisions have been taken.”
Although he did not disclose names of the lecturers who were sacked, Prof. Bokpin underscored the need for greater sensitization of the University’s policy on sexual harassment, stressing that it would make both lecturers and students aware of the implications of the act, as well as how to act when abused.
He said: “By and large, there is a certain level of admission that these things are happening. The University has a policy; perhaps compliance and enforcement hasn’t been that strong. Also, in terms of education and information dissemination, perhaps the university would have to speed up so we create the much-needed awareness among students so they know what avenues are available to them in the event that such approaches are made and what kind of protective mechanisms we have in place.”
“We have also notice students harassing students and that is also an issue. The same committee has been handling that. We have set up committees and they make recommendations,” he added.
Over the last few days, there has been mixed reactions to a documentary by the BBC on ‘sex for grades’. The said report is part of a year-long investigation into sexual harassment by professors at the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana.
Powered by Kiki Mordi, a journalist with the BBC who is a victim herself, the documentary captured Prof. Gyampo, Dr. Butakor; as well as Boniface Igbeneghu of University of Lagos.
Prof. Gyampo and Dr. Butakor, who have been interdicted by University of Ghana and are expected to be hauled before the University’s Anti Sexual Harassment Committee to assist with internal investigations, have denied they were offering “sex for grades” in the undercover exchanges.
Meanwhile, Prof. Gyampo has made known his intention to take legal action against the BBC.