Gbowee to ‘Name, Shame’ Sexual Predators in Education System

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In an attempt to eradicate the growing nmber of ‘sex for grades’ cases in public and private  schools (secondary and tertiary), Liberian 2011 Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee is planning to name and shame professors and teachers involved-.

The president and founder of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa (GPFA) said her organization’s effort to expose professors and teachers, who are requesting or coercing studentd into sex for grades stems from numerous complaints from her scholarship students.

According to the GPFA president, the organization is determined to tackle sexual misconduct in secondary schools and universities to create a good learning environment for Liberian students.

“Soon, we will call the names of professors or teachers who are asking our girls for sexual favors,” Madam Gbowee said.

Since 2012, the GPFA has sponsored over 60 female students, in secondary and tertiary institutions in Liberia and abroad.

The tough-talking peace activist stated that the GPFA would establish an Education Advocacy Department to continue the investigation and private meetings with their students who report demands by professors and teachers for sex in exchange for grades.

 “This education advocacy officer will name and shame professors and teachers who ask female students for sex in return for grades because this is an everyday complaint,” Madam Gbowee said. “And let’s say again it will be soon.”

Gbowee revealed that the GPFA would also expose higher institutions of learning that are not meeting up with their courses as prescribed in their curriculum.

“We will also expose institutions that fail to follow their own course offerings stipulated in their curriculum,” Madam Gbowee said.

She reiterated her stance on calling on the Liberian Government through the Ministry of Education to overhaul the educational system.

Madam Gbowee disclosed that all of the female students who sat for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test in Ghana to enroll at the Indiana State University in the United States and the University of Belgium-KU Leuven failed miserably.

She startlingly said the female students, mostly graduates of the University of Liberia, whose grade points were above 3.0 GPA, made between 21%-29% out of the minimum grade of 79%.

 For this, Madam Gbowee said her partners have asked her to include Ghanaian and Nigerian female students since Liberian females over the past years have failed to qualify.

“If we do not reform our educational system, our students will continuously lose their opportunities because of their failure to pass the TOEFL test to get scholarships,” Madam Gbowee said.

“Two reasons may be responsible for the poor results for Liberian students.  These include under-qualified teachers and the lack of motivation for students to study,” she concludes.

Meanwhile, sexual exploitation and money for grades in schools across Liberia have remained a major challenge over the years.

Although there are policies on book prohibiting such malpractices, the public is yet to see any tough action taken against anyone engaged in the practice.

Moreover, school has become a business that individuals and groups, including churches, prioritize nowadays.

Most of the schools established to complement the financial intake of churches do not have qualified teachers but rely on members who may have graduated from high school or even college but are not trained teachers.

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