Rwanda: Sex for marks in universities

By BYANSI Samuel Baker [Africa Plenary Investigates]

Kigali- Sex-for-marks scandal involving a senior academic and student has highlighted not only the prevalence of the problem, but the difficulty in addressing it in Rwanda universities.

The lecture in this scandal, identified as papa Kevin but real names  Dr Francois  Maniraho who was by the time of the story follow up an academic staff of  University of tourism, technology and business studies – Rwanda (UTB) refused to talk to us on this specific case but later we got the information that the institution drooped him and he joined the University of Rwanda in the  center of excellence.

The victims allegedly  accused him for  negotiating sex for marks with them, they also ague that in case of resistance the out come is lose of marks.

In an official response to the issue according to prof Dr Tombora Gustave the deputy vice chancellor of academics and research UTB , it is hard to get information on sex for marks cases due to the nature of the case and secrecy in it.

Ingabire Marie immaculate of transparency international Rwanda also argued that “any academic staff member found guilty of sexual harassment, after undergoing due process, should be made to face the wrath of the law. she also stated that those found guilty would be punished openly for the stop make of the cases.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when either:

  • The conduct is made as a term or condition of an individual’s employment, education, living environment or participation in a University community.
  • The acceptance or refusal of such conduct is used as the basis or a factor in decisions affecting an individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University community.
  • The conduct unreasonably impacts an individual’s employment or academic performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment for that individual’s employment, education, living environment, or participation in a University community.

Sexual harassment is defined by law and includes requests for sexual favors, sexual advances or other sexual conduct when (1) submission is either explicitly or implicitly a condition affecting academic or employment decisions; (2) the behavior is sufficiently severe or pervasive as to create an intimidating, hostile or repugnant environment; or (3) the behavior persists despite objection by the person to whom the conduct is directed. The University considers such behavior, whether physical or verbal, to be a breach of its standards of conduct and will seek to prevent such incidents and take corrective action when sexual harassment occurs.

The following descriptions, while not all-inclusive, will help you understand the types of behavior that are considered “conduct of a sexual nature” and that, if unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment:

Unwanted sexual statements: Sexual or “dirty” jokes, comments on physical attributes, spreading rumors about or rating others as to sexual activity or performance, talking about one’s sexual activity in front of others and displaying or distributing sexually explicit drawings, pictures and/or written material. Unwanted sexual statements can be made in person, in writing, electronically (email, instant messaging, blogs, web pages, etc.) and otherwise.

Unwanted personal attention: Letters, telephone calls, visits, pressure for sexual favors, pressure for unnecessary personal interaction and pressure for dates where a sexual/romantic intent appears evident but remains unwanted.

Unwanted physical or sexual advances: Touching, hugging, kissing, fondling, touching oneself sexually for others to view, sexual assault, intercourse or other sexual activity this is according to the international University sexual harassment policy.

Sexual harassment is considered a direct violation of the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.

although its hard to find out and make an end to sex for marks issues in Rwanda universities, the universities administrations have even failed to set up a simple  strategy like the sexual harassment policies in heir institutions which boils this habit to its full percentage, and also this could be a starting point for the concerned institutions to stop this in Rwanda institutions.

for the Rwandan universities to fix this growing problem it has been and  still moves very little, and the few we have managed to  document, seen and hard show that indeed the universities are still a mile away from fixing what is really a problem at the heart of the universities.

Video Partner – RBA

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