Home » Literacy » ’Sexual Transmitted Degrees’ Rife As Female Students Exploited, Says Report

THE exploitation of female students is on the increase with tutors demanding sex for better grades and, in many cases, deliberately failing learners so that they ‘negotiate’ for pass marks, a report on corruption has revealed.

Entitled ‘Youth and Corruption Baseline Survey in Zimbabwe 2014’, the report which analyses corruption in the education sector, is based on a survey by Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ).

Young women who participated in the focus groups indicated that they have, at some point, been asked to pay bribes in the form of sex by male lecturers in return for better grades.

“The research team learnt that there are certain degrees popularly known as STDs, meaning so-called sexually transmitted degrees,” says the report.

“It emerged that, at times, male lecturers fail female students on purpose to allow a negotiation for a better grade.”

Respondents said this usually occurs towards one’s final year where the student cannot afford to fail any course simply because it would mean that they would not graduate.

“To avoid the hustle of repeating and disappointing parents the female student (ends up) giving in to the ploy of the male lecturers,” said the researchers.

“Sexual corruption is as a result of the discretion that the teachers have in awarding marks to students.”

The report also noted that schools and colleges do not have systems of peer reviewing student grades.

Again, while students can appeal and ask for a re-marking, the process is usually long and requires some payment which many cannot afford.

“These conditions render the system ineffective in terms of ensuring a transparent student grading system.”

The report also adds that after school when the young females are looking for work they are also subjected to what they described as “carpet interviews” in which getting a job depends on exchanging sexual favours.

“Young women are, at times, forced to pay a bribe through sex in return for job opportunities, as well as to avoid arrest or speed up processes.”

A woman interviewed as part of the survey added: “We are often asked for sexual favours as a means to sweeten the deal in exchange for employment. If one refuses, one may end up not get a job.”

The report said young women are more vulnerable to corruption than their male counterparts, adding that this has health, education and injustice implications.

“Women suffer corruption in two ways, firstly they are victims of bribe corruption and secondly they suffer sexual extortion,” says the report.

Source : New Zimbabwe