Academic institutions in West Africa have increasingly been facing allegations of sekzual harassment by lecturers. This type of abuse is said to be endemic, but it’s almost never proven.
After gathering dozens of testimonies, BBC Africa Eye sent undercover journalists posing as students and at the end of the day, two lecturers at the University of Ghana, Dr Paul Kwame Butakor and Prof Ransford Gyampo, have been implicated in the “sekz for grades” .
Investigative Journalist, Manasseh Azure-Awuni has reacted to all these.
He posted on Facebook;
The “sekz for Grades” hypothesis
When going undercover to bust someone allegedly involved in an illegal or immoral act, you secretly record the incident, unobtrusively, as it takes place between the culprit and third parties. Where, that is impossible, you may have a sting operation. Here again, you pose, for instance, as the prey, meet the predator and record proceedings. In that case, you don’t change the identity of the character you are playing or the subject of your investigation when you meet the alleged predator.
Investigative journalism is like academic research. If you have randomly or purposively (as in Prof. Gyampo’s case) sampled a university lecturer who allegedly offers undeserved grades to his sekzually harassed students, then you can only use one approach to test your hypothesis: let your engagement focus on the subject of the investigation. Go to the lecturer and tell him you are one of his over one thousand students and you have failed his subject or you are not sure of passing his subject. If he asks for sekz in order to give you the grade, you have your story.
You can easily get a fake student ID card and index number that show you a student taking his course. When you are going to bust a lecturer offering grades in return for sekz, you don’t go to him or her as someone seeking mentorship or to seek national service placement without mentioning the subject of grades.
In the case of Prof. Gyampo, as shown in the video, the lecturer made advances at a student who wanted to be mentored. In the process, he told her to be free to accept or reject the proposal. She did not give in. He requested a hug after buying her shoes. She declined. And they parted ways.
I’m not justifying the conduct of Prof. Gyampo in the video. But the BBC’s investigative hypothesis, “sekz for Grades”, cannot be accepted or rejected because it was not tested in the first place.