By David Serumaga
Dear Editor: Education is one of the core values that the Government of the Republic Uganda, parents, caretakers, sponsors and teachers aim to give the growing generation such that in future, the nation can have a society that is knowledgeable and can transform the communities or the world.
Currently the society has changed and a few individuals are weakening this goal including the students themselves. With the current criticism from the civil society members, religious leaders, parents and other activists over ‘sex for marks’ saga at Makerere University, lecturers or teachers from any other institutions of higher learning are not different from the rest of society.
Astonishingly, critics have put their focus only on teachers, lecturers and tutors forgetting that there is another group that is fully involved in this saga yet it is not challenged.
I do not support sex for marks scenarios or any other type of sex that compromise anyone be it a girl or a boy. The main issue here is that the behavior is real; some students are engaged in sex for material gains, marks and money from their teachers which is a bad habit which the government, university or school administration plus the parents should act on seriously until it is curtailed.
Stories have been circulating about how girls mostly in universities, high schools and other institution of learning have been paying a price in form of bedroom meetings over their marks but nothing is done to curb this conducts.
Yes, we have known the problem but the way we are reacting to it is still wanting. If some concerned members from the civil society, parents and other activists change their campaigns from not only concentrating on lecturers and teachers and shift to the students as well, then this sex for marks trend will be no more.
Why does someone blame a lecture yet you have not laid a strong moral foundation on the girls you have stayed with for years?
To some universities, students mainly girls do not practice good ethical moral values which affects the society they live in. If a student decides to face a lecture in a room, dressed like a prostitute, what do you expect? I am not defending teachers or lecturers who request to have sex for marks but our sisters, daughters and friends should also stop tempting them.
It is nonsensical for a girl to boldly say that she did not know that she was going to have sex with a lecturer yet the appointment location was a lodge or in a room of a certain hotel. Information coming from some students shows that some girls negotiate with lecturers such that they cannot get bad results, dead semesters, dead year or even miss out on the graduation list.
Together we need to think twice because this behavior seems to eat our nation. Let the responsible people play their part. If a parent or a caretaker did not guide his or her child on know how to dress up without upsetting others, such cases will increase.
Teach your child the African ethical morals which will not lead her or him into troubles. I want to thank some organizations like Compassion International Uganda that gives career guidance to the children it sponsors because such great talks sharpen the minds of the children on how to protect him or herself from such traps.
Other NGO’s and civil society members should borrow this idea from Compassion International Uganda in order to give a strong foundation to the young generation in Uganda.
We have been hearing about several parents quoted to have bribed for admissions positions in schools and universities for their children who did not make up to the pass marks of the school, institution or university they wanted. This is one of the factors why students go for the red carpet negotiations with their lecturers or teachers for marks because they believe that they cannot fail to get what they expected or else they use other options.
Let us work together to fight these lecturers who get sex from students for mark at the sometime give career guidance to the students or even try to supervise them.
President, Buganda Youth Wing
By David Serumaga