By Musbaudeen Shekoni
FOR President Muham-madu Buhari to successfully fight corruption in the nation, there is need for him to fight corruption in the nation’s educational system. This is the position of the Vice-Chancellor of Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, Professor Celestine A. Ntuen, while speaking during an interview with the press on the evil effects of sex-for-mark syndrome in tertiary institutions.
Ntuen who lamented that the sex-for-mark syndrome in tertiary institutions is mostly found in public universities, revealed that the moral decadence is as a result of corruption from the top which has eaten deep into the fabric of the country.
The vice-chancellor who earlier had his academic and administrative positions at North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T) in USA for 31 years maintained that President Buhari needs to fight corruption in the nation’s tertiary, secondary and primary educational sector of the country for him to be successful in fighting corruption in other sectors.
He explained that all the educational institutions from nursery to primary, secondary to universities are beginning to become corrupt, stressing that there is need to fight corruption from the whole management of Nigerian’s institutions.
His words,”The cause of all these moral decadence in our institutions starts from the top and the whole system has a very tendency of corruption and when I say system its from universities to government, sexual harassment starts from offices so they carry it over and now teachers too want to do the same. You know that this corruption is not only about money. You can hear that monies sent to universities are being abused. Now lecturers are also abusing students by taking money to give grades. When you take money from students to give grades without teaching them what do we expect? We expect to have an uneducated, corrupt nation.
“President Buhari needs to fight corruption at all levels of our educational system. There should be great punitive measure against anyone found guilty of sex-for-marks syndrome in our institutions. There must be inspection and monitoring in our institutions.
“Right now, the teachers do what they want; even in secondary schools, you know that in WAEC and NECO, teachers and parents also bribe these examiners to give their students/children good grades, then you see them getting ‘As’ in WAEC and NECO and asked to withdraw mostly in their year one due to inability to perform academically.”
Ntuen said sex-for-marks syndrome and other moral issues in Nigerian’s institutions can be curbed if sanctions, rules and regulations are put in place and enforced. Also inspection, monitoring and evaluation teams should be put in place and monitored by corrupt-free officials.
His words: ”We can stop all these menace if we have sanctions, rules and regulations as well as set up a section that monitors these behaviours but unfortunately, corruption has been the problem of Nigeria and it has become the cancer in our bone so whether they put up a sanctioning unit or not, those sanctioning units will tend to be corrupt because they go there to look for money instead of looking for and reporting corrupt practices.”
He called on his colleagues in tertiary institutions to show good exampleas as well as display right morals and ethics as mentors to students they teach.
His words “I am calling on my colleagues in tertiary institutions that they should show the right thing, right moral and ethics to our students because they copy from us and we cannot be mentors when we are corrupting these students. We cannot be educators when we are not teaching them. We cannot be confidant to these students when we are secretly corrupting and abusing them. If you want to call yourself a professional in educational institution you must have a good moral
“Ntuen said sex-for-marks in institutions is very wrong and immoral maintained that management should not condone such act. The vice chancellor who has 410 reviewed technical publications and an edited book to his credit said the issue of sex-for-mark is not happening in his institution because he meets with students constantly to advise them revealed that his office door is constantly open to student for any complaining as well as to challenge their grades.