‘Sex for marks’ big is­sue on cam­puses

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - BARBARA COLE

LECHEROUS lec­tur­ers who de­mand sex in re­turn for good marks could be named and shamed if stu­dents get their way. The prob­lem of “sex for marks” was a big is­sue, UN rep­re­sen­ta­tive Anne Githuku-Shongwe told the clos­ing ses­sion of the HEAids Na­tional Youth Con­fer­ence held at the Dur­ban In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

She re­called that 321 stu­dents had gath­ered for one of the ses­sions of the higher ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing HIV/Aids pro­gramme, where they had iden­ti­fied spe­cific prob­lems – and they had come up with 31 so­lu­tions.

Power re­la­tions at cam­puses proved to be a “very big is­sue”, par­tic­u­larly the role of lec­tur­ers and sex for marks, she said.

Af­ter brain­storm­ing, the stu­dents came up with an “in­ter­est­ing con­cept” – to iden­tify the of­fend­ing lec­tur­ers on an ap­pli­ca­tion “grey list” so that their names would be known.

It would have to be sub­ject to a ver­i­fi­ca­tion sys­tem, Githuku-Shongwe said, adding that the idea “is some­thing we will con­tinue to work with”.

The con­fer­ence also heard that fi­nan­cially-strapped stu­dents have “no choice” but to sleep with older, wealth­ier men.

Mduduzi Manana, the Deputy Min­is­ter of the Depart­ment of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing, said there was a close con­nec­tion be­tween stu­dent funding – and the lack of it – and new in­fec­tions of HIV on uni­ver­sity and col­lege cam­puses.

Del­e­gates had told him at the con­fer­ence and when he trav­elled around the coun­try that they did not like link­ing up with older men, as they were not at­tracted to them, but that with­out money, they were left with no choice.

Manana later said the stu­dents told him the funding they got was in­suf­fi­cient and ar­rived late.

They had also asked him when the gov­ern­ment was go­ing to im­ple­ment free higher ed­u­ca­tion for the very poor. “I told them that a pres­i­den­tial com­mis­sion had been ap­pointed to look at the funding sys­tem, and that it was due to re­port back at the end of June.”

He also ex­plained that the bud­get had been in­creased, which had gone a long way to ad­dress stu­dent funding, “but it is still in­suf­fi­cient”.

The theme of the con­fer­ence was “Em­pow­er­ing the Youth”, and Carol Masinga, a peer men­tor of the Soul City Rise Clubs, won ap­plause when she said it was “not okay to be raised in poverty and live in fear”.

She was wear­ing a mini to show off her beau­ti­ful legs. “I am not ask­ing for Aids,” she stressed, point­ing out that a woman’s dress code “gives you con­fi­dence”.

Stu­dents want to name, shame lewd lec­tur­ers

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