'Protect female students' – Nat'l Accreditation Board tells tertiary institutions

File: Some female students of the University of Ghana[/caption] The National Accreditation Board has asked authorities of the various tertiary institutions “to protect students, especially the females”, by instituting appropriate systems and structures. It also wants the schools to strengthening and fully implementing their various sexual harassment policies. A statement signed and issued by the Acting Executive Secretary, Dr Kingsley Nyarko  on the back of BBC’s ‘Sex for Grades’ documentary, asked students who have been preyed upon by their lecturers to muster courage to report them. “Students are hereby encouraged to acquaint themselves with the sexual harassment policy of their institutions, must be bold to report such cases to the appropriate offices and avail themselves to its grievance resolution procedures,” it advised. According to the NAB, it has been appalled by the potential damage the investigative piece by the BBC could have on the reputation of the University of Ghana. The Board warned it will not countenance any inappropriate behaviour, which has the tendency to compromise teaching and learning, and ultimately affect the quality and standard of tertiary education in Ghana. “It must be stated that sexual harassment policy is one of the key requirements which an institution must have to merit accreditation to operate as a tertiary education institution,” it stated.. On the back of widespread allegations of lecturers in West African universities offering grades to female students in exchange for sexual favours, the BBC Africa Eye team undertook a year-long investigation into the phenomenon to gather evidence for authorities to act. The Sex for Grades documentary was released on October 7 and two senior lecturers at the University of Ghana, Prof. Ransford Gyampo and Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor were captured making sexual advances at two female undercover agents who posed as students of the university.

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Although both lecturers have vehemently denied the allegations against them, the University said in a statement that it takes serious, issues of sexual harassment and misconduct, and accordingly “condemn any of such acts”. The university has since October 8 interdicted the two professors. “…the Business and Executive Committee of the University has taken a decision to interdict Prof. Ransford Gyampo and Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor, the two lecturers featured in the documentary to allow for further investigations into the matter” a statement issued Tuesday said. It assured the public that authorities will prosecute the current case under investigation, in addition to all outstanding cases before the Committee. “We would like to state emphatically that the University of Ghana does not and will not shield any employee or student found to have engaged in sexual harassment or misconduct.  No member of the University is considered above the law,” the statement indicated. By 3news.com|Ghana]]>