Let’s talk about Sex For Marks. If the typical tutor in a Nigerian tertiary institution is just a rude thing, outdated and full of himself; many of these timid students our systems ejaculated will be grateful but unfortunately, in addition to these unpalatables, is also an extinguisher of light and the bringer of death. Face to face with death, the gaze is unbroken; the monster is flirted with, seduced and taken to bed. What man dares dare with man who has seen the orifices of death? What man looks forward to looking at the face of a man who fondled with death? If a man, like a wild animal, has death in his teeth, where then is man and where is the animal from the wild? At least, that is how some Nigerian Lecturers present it.
Tough, unbending, unkind, you can add yours as long as you don’t soil their cloaks by suggesting meekness. In the walls of a citadel, barbarism is glorified and in the contest that ensues, the prime prime totally dissociates the fearful students. Anyone can glorify barbarism but the same substance in the mouth of a supposed trendsetter is like acid in the hands of a madman.
The handlers of forming minds ought to have formed minds. The bakery ought to have enough flour. The men who will erect the men that will stand the structures ought to have good posture. The men who will build the Nigerians that will build Nigeria ought to have built themselves first. So how did we get here? Did this come with our Independence? Is this the Gonorrhoea that came with the Syphilis we ordered? How were these perverts lurking around in light able to create the darkness? It seems to me that it is all from a similar origin. The symptoms, as in dysentery, may range from pain, fever, diarrhoea and a bloody faeces but it is still the same dysentery. This is what happened:
In the beginning, the Nigerian tertiary institutions came with the hope of the new country. The people in the civil service, whose attitude permeated a culture for nationals, permeated a positive culture that was unfortunately neutralised. Despite the well wishes and prayers for the growth of Nigeria, they were faced with a conflict.
Should their loyalty be to Nigeria or to their family? Should loyalty be to Zik, Awolowo, Sarduana or the new agreement? Should their loyalty be to their tribe or the independent country? In most sectors everyone was trying to be the first at something for regional pride. The first graduate of this or that course. The first to drive a car. The first Professor. The first to own a school and so on. Regions even used the media to spread lies about themselves and others. This also affected the institutions. Because the goal of regional governments was to create regional pride and regional pride was well executed by a national of the region, priority to education had to be regionalised to be meaningful. What happened outside the schools was simultaneously happening in school and as the outside was infested with rot, the inside, the building blocks of the outside, the conditioner of the outside, was conditioned by the outside and it rotted. It wasn’t enough.
The rot began to take many forms and the odours multiplied. As time passed people also realised that the self has to be alive to propagate the dreams and inspirations of the tribe and region, the body has to be healthy to feed other bodies. It has to be alive and have power to direct the lives of others. Because they already messed up the place with regionalism and nepotism, a weird idea of the ‘greater good’ was established.
A strong financial base from those outside the clan could help the ministry they were trying to build and they got them in. Where the bribe was not seductive enough, the rich outsider flashes more and gradually the practice became a norm. But like with Nigeria and their tribe or region, they were in a dilemma again. Which is better? Which should be the first among equals? The region, the tribe or the money? Is the group more important than the self? Then it got to a stage that even those from the region had to pay to be elevated but the dilemma still exist till today. While conspiring against other regions/nations, they seasonally conspire against one another.
Lecturers became weak as a result of so many tampering of their conscience.
They belied their spiritual beliefs if they had any; they belied good things
and the married ones among them, as is consistent with evil, sought for another
channel of evil. They go to brothels and spend the bribe on prostitutes. Both
the married and unmarried spend money to buy them drinks. In fact, whether it
is just a girl friend, ‘maintaining’ her cost them money. But what if you can
have all the benefits and still keep your money, they thought? What if you can
enjoy all the benefits of a prostitute and more and still not pay? And what if
you can choose, you can control and can decide how often this happens and still
not pay? What if there is huge poverty and a student who is not attuned with
the course? Sex for Marks happens.
I have heard some ridiculous excuses and as a teacher myself in a tertiary institution I can say that it is all bullshit. We blame the victims for whatever happened and then we blame them for speaking out now. You shouldn’t have worn a short skirt to his office, you shouldn’t have gone to speak to him on that course, you shouldn’t stand out in class and finally, is it rape or consensual? We all know that a statement conducted under duress or under the influence of alcohol wouldn’t stand in any reasonable justice system. The reason Sex For Marks happens in our tertiary institutions is because the system is built to massage the ego of the tutors. Sex For Marks is a product of fear, laziness and impunity.
If the teachers never presented themselves as demigods and if the government or society was not liquidated to accept it as norm, a teacher will not dare use Sex for Marks as weapon. If the lecturer knows that whatever happens wouldn’t faze him then impunity persists and he hunts as he pleases. The student aware of this power is scared because he or she is aware of his or her powerlessness. A lazy student could also use it as chip but when the system is sound, whether the lecturer falls or not, a penalty is served. If the system worked, the student will be empowered mentally and with this level of empowerment suggesting the idea to a student will be tantamount to digging your own grave. It is because the lecturer knows that the students have no right, that the structures were put in place to keep them timid and depraved and that no matter what he does the system recognises his impunity. To stop Sex For Marks we must first make the students less timid by given them rights. Right now, their rights, even on paper, chokes. Good Job BBC.