There is simmering confusion at the University of Ghana (UG) as two units of the facility appear to be expressing divergent positions over the recent “Sex For Grades” documentary published by the BBC African Eye.
The University of Ghana (UG) has so far interdicted two of its lecturers captured in documentary.
The two, Prof. Ransford Gyampo and Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor are expected to be dragged before the University’s Anti Sexual Harassment Committee to assist with internal investigations.
These lecturers were implicated in the BBC documentary over their alleged sexual harassment of female students.
Although they have denied the allegations leveled against them, pressure has mounted on the University to take decisive actions to show its commitment of dealing with the issue of sexual misconduct.
This comes barely twenty-fours after the airing of the documentary that has sent many Ghanaians talking.
But that could not have passed without what appears to be chaos at the country’s premier university.
While Dr. Margaret Amoakohene Chairperson of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee holds a differently view, the Public Affairs directorate of the same university also thinks differently.
Early yesterday, Dr. Amoakohene was widely quoted to have rejected the video because it had no evidence connecting the two lecturers to the said offence.
She is quoted as having said that although she sides with the fact that it is a misconduct among those lecturers and thereby calls for further investigations, she disagrees with the “sex for grades” tag.
“If you look at the transcript that they added, there is no evidence of sex for grade. I agree that the lecturers misbehaved and so you will discuss these as unacceptable behaviours that should be investigated but there was no indication of sex for grades. In one case, it was about the National Service placement. Who needs grades at National Service? She completed and she was looking for placement,” she said.
Dr. Amoakohene added: “In the other case according to the transcript, the lady approached him [Prof. Gyampo] and said she wanted him to be a mentor. She actually confirmed she wasn’t his student but asked that he mentors her. So where is the grade involved in this? You are able to discuss grades and sex when you find a lecturer who is dating his own students, and either unnecessarily giving them grades that they don’t deserve or marking them down because they have refused your advances. But in the two cases that are cited, I don’t see sex for grades.”
The UG’s own Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee chairperson’s comments is in sharp contrast to the position contained in a statement later issued by the Public Affairs Directorate of the university.
A Statement issued by the Stella A. Amoa, Director of Public Affairs stated that “We would like to state unequivocally that the University places great importance on issues of sexual harassment and misconduct, and condemn any of such acts.”
It disclosed that “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. In line with University regulations, the two will be invited by the Anti-Sexual Harassment Committee in the next few days to assist with further investigations into the BBC documentary.”, a statement from the university indicated.
In the release, management of the University also indicated that it will not undermine the importance of its anti-sexual harassment guideline to tackle this menace which is ‘fundamentally exploiting power imbalance and the voicelessness on individuals, families and institutions.’
As a result, it has expressed commitment to investigate this matter and all other cases of sexual abuse brought before it and ensure that persons who are culpable face the punitive measure they due them.
“The University will prosecute the current matter 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 above the law”, it added.