Nigerian students held to ransom for grades

// 26 March 2007

Male lecturers and schoolteachers in Nigeria routinely pressure girls for sex in return for passing grades, reports the Washington Post.

When Nigeria’s education minister faced an audience of 1,000 schoolchildren, she expected to hear complaints of crowded classrooms and lack of equipment. Instead, girl after girl spoke up about being pressured for sex by teachers in exchange for better grades. One girl was just 11 years old.

“I was shocked,” said the minister, Obiageli Ezekwesili, who has several children herself. “I asked – was it that prevalent? And they all chorused ‘yes.'”

Most of the victims of this particular brand of sexual harassment, however, are university students. The Post interviews one 22 year old who has been prevented from graduating for three years, because she will not have sex with a political science lecturer. In one survey carried out by a student, 80% of female students said they had been blackmailed for sex in this way.

Only now is the government starting to act, which it horrendous in itself, and no doubt points to wider problems.

“We’ve had cases where the girls have complained and the heads of their department have called them and said, ‘Give him what he wants.'”

(via Broadsheet)

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