A BBC African Eye documentary is focusing on an ugly phenomenon where some lecturers in the higher institutions of learning in Ghana and Nigeria are soliciting for sex from their students in exchange for grades.
The BBC calls the documentary ‘Sex for grades’: Undercover in West African universities.
In the documentary, which airs today, the BBC sent undercover journalists to pose as students in those institutions. What they uncovered is a trove of sexual harassment, propositions and pressure put on them by senior lecturers at the institutions. However, unbeknownst to the lecturers, their victims were wearing secret cameras. So they were caught in the act – literally.
According to the BBC, they undertook the investigation because while sexual abuse allegations are difficult to prove even though the act is rather endemic in many West African universities.
Reporter Kiki Mordi, who was herself sexually abused during her university days led the investigation. She says:
“When I was at the University, I was sexually harassed and I was not the only one.”
In the documentary, we could see a lecturer asking if “she’s not paying for it?”
Female voice: “Paying for it with?”
Lecturer: “With her body.”
In another scene, we see a lecturer who tells his student victim: “Switch off this light, lock the door. I will kiss you for a minute.”
According to the BBC, the investigation spanned over a year and they interviewed several students who provided insight to them on which lecturers are allegedly involved in the sexual abuse of students. The team then sent a journalist to post as a student to see the lecturer. The student is equipped with a hidden camera and a panic alert button, while the rest of the team stay nearby to swoop in case the student presses the panic button. That way, the BBC team were able to document the abuse on video for the documentary.