Sexually Transmitted Grades in Malawi universities: Call for action

Sexually Transmitted Grades(STGs) is a common term in the corridors of public universities in Malawi.

Sex for grades: What have the Student Unions and NGOs done to protect students?

My four year journey through the university has made me to realize that most lecturers take advantage of the girls since they have the power to form and administer exams as well as marking the same.

Stories are awash in public universities that girls are asked, forced, coaxed, enticed and even manipulated into sexual relationships with their lecturers on a condition  that they will pass exams.

In public universities  some lecturers leak exams to some girls they have a conjugal relationship with as an easy way of satisfying their desires.

It is not a secret that many girls have either been withdrawn temporarily or completely simply because they denied a lecturer an opportunity to abuse them.

It is not a secret that because exams are personalized in public universities, lecturers have become gods and students are forced by the situation to worship them.

Many men, boys or gentlemen have been withdrawn completely from the public universities simply because they have been competing for the same girl with a lecturer.

Students unions have done very little to curb this malpractice because everyone is afraid of the consequences of crossing the path of the one who holds their future in his or her arms.

It is not a secret that many girls have gone home with a positive HIV serostatus and other sexually transmitted infections in their quest to obtain a degree at the end of the day.

The boyfriends of these girls are often victims of this academic struggle because at the end, these things are passed on to them.

The Constitution Framework of Bunda Students’ Union(BSU) in Article 7: Section 5 stipulates that one of the objectives of their students union is “To promote and defend the rights and interests of all students effectively and efficiently”.

The duties of BSU’s Female Directors of Social Welfare include that they “Shall receive and deal with all problems regarding female students with the help of the female warden” it reads.

But how many victims have been helped by this directorate in the past academic years?

All public universities in Malawi have similar portfolios that have been mandated by their piece of legislation to fight for the rights of students, especially when they are in a tight corner.

What is mostly disheartening is that  Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Malawi pay little if  no attention at all to these occurrences. Students in these universities are suffering in silence.

No wonder, passing an exam at a public university has nothing to do with hard work alone but your good camaraderie with your lecturers.  If they say jump, you jump. If they say walk and you crawl, then you are registered in their black book. You end up going home earlier than you came.

I have gone through the Malawi University of Science and Technology Students Representative Council(MUST) Constitution, the Constitution Framework of Bunda Students’ Union(BSU), the Constitution of Mzuzu University Students’ Union(MUSU), Kamuzu College of Nursing Students Union(KCNU) Constitution, Constitution of Polytechnic Students Union(PSU) and Constitution for the Students’ Union of Chancellor College(SUCC).

However, despite the protection of the rights of  students being enshrined in these constitutions, students are not protected.

This is the reason I personally feel that all public university unions must come together to fight for a change of the examination system especially for mid-semester,  end of semester as well as end of program exams.

The power of the lecturer to form and mark exams for the course he or she personally taught must be removed and be replaced with exams prepared, administered and marked by an examination board.

This will definitely save girls and boys in the public universities from unlawful, personally orchestrated and manufactured withdraws because an examination board like the Association of Business Managers and Administrators at International level or the Public Accountants Examination Council(PAEC) can not fail a student based on personal hatred, attitude or mere laziness.

It is not a secret that some lecturers have a tendency of not marking exams but just to give grades according to their preferences.

No wonder, some lecturers say that they follow a Biblical principle of exalting the humble and humbling the proud. This means that in just giving me the grades, lecturers end up failing the one who actually passed and pass the one who failed.

I call upon different NGOs to intervene in these malpractices. Student unions in public universities must establish the Malawi Public University Students Union(MAPUSU) so that a strong voice can be created and effect change.

This is the best we can do not for ourselves alone, but the generation of future intellectuals in these public institutions of higher learning.

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom but the fear of fellow human beings is an enemy of progress.

  • The author is a Bachelor of Science in Optometry (Honours) student @ Mzuzu University. Views expressed in this article remains the opinion of the writer.  

[email protected]

 

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
tariq
Guest
tariq

if god is so great why isnt he fixing the problem and protecting the girls who are being abused and raped by asshole lecturers. Lets get off this nonsensical worship of a useless god and focus on helping ourselves. As a society we must confront this scourge head on and eliminate it.

DZIMWALE WAMKULU
Guest
DZIMWALE WAMKULU

what an insane thinking that the Great God Jehovah is doing nothing,,, shame and great shame. God is in control and He will always be, these things are happening that the evil one be exposed and here we are able to know that most of these ladies are not smart but a bunch of whores

Igwe
Guest
Igwe

Big ma GOD is real and he ans in his own time. Never again in your life mock GOD no matter what? He has given us brains to solve most of our problems yes but we still need HIM to help us. Spiritual assistance is more than bodily or humanly assistance.

Beula Man
Guest
Beula Man

In Zimbabwe we call this Nyoro. Girls in Universities including Malawi like Nyoro (unprotected sex) that is why they get pregnant and HIV

Binwell Matabwa
Guest
Binwell Matabwa

I think most of us seem to miss the purpose and context of this article. One it is wrong to fault the author on technique grounds vis-a-vis repetitions. Secondly, it is wrong to assume that all articles must assume an empiricist or positivist approach vis-a-vis statistics or what-so-ever. In fact, people can use statistics to justify lies. Reflect on on the second reason and think of the main studies and projects that have lied through cooked up statistics or figures. Three, a study leading to a report like this one can assume a conceptual position which solely depends on available… Read more »

Joni
Guest
Joni

I am looking forward to the day when university exams will be administered by an independent body. What a relief it will be for the miserable lecturer. But some suggestions are laughable. Pakafa munthu pamayenera kupezeka mfiti (finding a scapegoat). Namalila sayimbidwa mulandu kuti sakulira bwino. Failures will always come up with stories as a scopegoat. Yes there is a tiny group of sour grapes and the university systems are taking care of them. Lecturers have been discipline including dismissal chifukwa cha illicit lecturer-student relationships. These relationships are tricky though. One simply has to report. It’s a form of corruption… Read more »

BigMan
Guest
BigMan

Only a stupid University student would fall for such nonsense. If you are smart and you know you have the ability to pass then why open your legs for some lecturer? Even if the lecturer was to deliberately “fail” you, surely you can challenge the results in any reasonable tertiary institution. As for the girl child in the village, my advise to parents is to raise their children in such a way that they know their rights, understand what is right and what is wrong, and are comfortable enough to report such approaches to their Guardian or parent.

mnyamata wa nzeru
Guest
mnyamata wa nzeru

Oi, its the other way round. Lecturers need to be protected from these girls. They are vicious, very very vicious and they stop at nothing if they want to get laid by a particular lecturer. Polani moto ana inu!!!

Kabwaffo
Guest
Kabwaffo

For me I would like agree with few writers in this column in the sense that I have seen my neba’s girl children inviting a Lectures home in Blantyre from Chanco to write exams right in Blantyre in the bedroom. Her father and went home for lunch only to see a strange man walking out of the girl’s bedroom and told us that he was teaching the girl since she was left behind while at school as she felt sick. Few months passed the girl was chased due to pregnancy. Very surprisingly the girl was among the recipient of Horns… Read more »

Mc9
Guest
Mc9

Oh God! You should have let other people read this before posting it.
1. At least have the skill to form a sentence before taking your points to news outlets.
2. Pano sipoyesela zipangizo.
3. The information put out may be true (its beeeeen happening) but the relevance gets washed out by the article’s lack of professionalism.
And
4. Next time, please use less repetition of introductory phrases to the paragraphs (“it is not a secret”). Mpaka FOUR times in one article??

Rachel Banda
Guest
Rachel Banda

Lies, Lies, Lies. There are many good lecturers in public universities. Very few bad apples who do these things should not spoil the name of others. And many girls who have been weeded from college is not because they refused to sleep with lecturers, they actually failed. At university when you have not done well you are asked to write a sup or can ask for remarking. Why didn’t they ask for remarking which they are entitled to? Uhule wachuluka muma universities, don’t blame lecturers.

Xkhumzrah
Guest
Xkhumzrah

Rachel is one of the girls whose real name was known as FEED THE LECTURES and its sad that when she came out of the College she was unable to give birth having properly married. NJIRA ONSE ACHIBEREKERO ZINAWONENGEKA. Lectures were put on list of waiting each week end.

Mamo Lagen
Guest
Mamo Lagen

Very true and this should come to an end.What LECTURERS are doing in public Universitiies is evil,I have a friend who has gone thru such horrible experience both at college and university ending with nothing achieved towards her goal because she refused to be abused by evil and HIV carrier lecturers.