The National Universities Commission (NUC) has charged the management of Nigerian universities to name and shame perpetrators of sexual harassment in their respective institutions.
This call came from the NUC Executive Secretary, Abubakar Rasheed at the 33rd annual conference of the Association of Vice – Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (ANVCNU).
He said this on Monday while delivering the keynote address at the opening of the four-day event ongoing at Redeemer’ s University in Ede, Osun State.
EduCeleb.com reports that the conference with the theme, “Revitalisation of University Education in Nigeria’’ has top academics including Professor Peter Okebukola, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, Professor O. A . Bamiro, Professor Ikenna Onyido, Professor Vincent Anigbogu, Professor Michael Faborode, Professor Attahiru Jega, among others as resource persons. Attendees include Vice Chancellors of all Nigerian universities, their representatives and delegations.
Professor Rasheed, who heads the regulatory body of the Nigerian university system, insisted that the image of the nation’s universities are being dented by some few unscrupulous perpetrators of the dastardly act in Nigerian universities.
He noted that if the trend is allowed to continue unchecked, the future of education is bleak in the country , adding that Nigeria should be seen as producing graduates that can compete favourably with their colleagues anywhere in the world.
In his words, “Our major crisis now is sexual harassment. Whether we like it or not, I want to charge the AVCNU at this meeting to make it a priority in the communique, to take a decisive action on this challenge.
“The universities should be willing to punish and stamp out the incidences of sexual harassment because it is damaging to our collective reputation; and we just have to do something.
“Please say it and do it; and whenever you punish or sanction somebody in this regard, let your effort be duly publicised.
“Let the world know that somebody has lost his or her job because of sexual harassment or somebody has been demoted from being a Professor to Lecturer1 because of sexually harassing a student. We, in the NUC, will be helping you.
“We can be collecting the names of the offenders monthly and advertising in all the newspapers to expose them as culprits of sexual harassment because we are determined to fight them. This is one area of academic corruption we are fighting .
“If lecturers that were told not to take advantage of innocent girls and boys in the universities decide to do so because they have the power to award marks , then we will equally fight them.”
Welcoming participants to the event earlier, the host and Vice Chancellor of the Redeemer’s University, Professor Debo Adeyewa who is also the current Chairman of the Association reminded his colleagues that the onus is on them to produce graduates that compete with their contemporaries anywhere in the world.
“We therefore need to encourage ourselves by stating the fact that , the Nigerian education system is not beyond redemption. We only need a purposeful leadership, absolute commitment from all key stakeholders and a sense of urgency to turn around the education sector.”