A university lecturer, Dr Olawale Lawal, has described the “Sex-for-mark’’ scandal, involving Prof. Richard Akindele of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, as a collective damage to the academic community.
Lawal, a lecturer of Diplomacy and Foreign Policy at the Lagos State University (LASU), made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Saturday.
According to him, the scandal is a collective damage to Nigerian academics, and stakeholders in the university system will do well to ensure that such a thing does not happen again.
Lawal advised lecturers to help maintain the standards of university education by shunning undeserved gratification to students.
“Bargaining for marks through money or sex calls for serious scrutiny and is highly condemnable, because it mortgages the standard and quality of our universities.
“If we mortgage standards, then the certificates we issue will be devalued and the graduates we produce, whether doctors, lawyers or engineers, will be half-baked and pose dangers to our societies,’’ he said.
He, then, advised students having similar issues with their lecturers to exploit the university disciplinary system rather than sensationalising such issues through the social media.
“Issues such as sexual harassment in the university are better handled through the university administrative system, and no university will tolerate such from its academic staff.
“Now, the issue has been made public and the lecturer cannot escape unscathed; but even the student will bear a moral burden.
“It will take some effort to rebuild the image and reputation of that university afterwards,’’ he said.
He also advised students to always take their academics seriously to avoid some lecturers taking advantage of their weak academic performances to make unfavourable demands.
NAN recalls that a controversial recording of a telephone conversation between Akindele and an unnamed female student, where Akindele appeared to be demanding sexual gratification, recently appeared on the social media.