Ingezi Idon, the Public Relations Officer of Bayelsa State-owned Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, said the university had eradicated sex-for-marks syndrome and moved beyond the era where lecturers would sleep with female students in order to award them marks for courses of study.
Idon was reacting to claims by the Bayelsa-born first female first-class law graduate of the varsity, Ebizi Eradiri, that some randy lecturers in the university almost scuttled her ambition of making a first class with their sexual overtures.
She made the allegation while speaking during a homecoming reception tagged ‘#Schoolnobescam’ held in her honour by the Sele Eradiri Foundation in collaboration with other non-governmental organizations in Yenagoa.
Eradiri, who also made a first class at the Nigerian Law School, said that prayers, hard work and dedication to studies helped her overcome frustration by the sex-for-marks lecturers to achieve the feat of becoming the first female student to graduate from the NDU law faculty with a first class.
But Idon said on Thursday in an exclusive chat with The PUNCH that the present administration of the university led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo, had introduced measures to tackle such ill-behaviour by any lecturer.
He said, “We have gone beyond the level of lecturers trying to sleep with female students in order to give them marks. The current administration has put a policy in place, in the sense that we have introduced conference marking, which is the first of its kind in Nigerian universities.
“No single lecturer; even if you are privileged to teach a course, you cannot alone mark that course, it is conference marking. So, you will set the questions, submit to the department and they will administer the exam and lecturers will sit in a conference arrangement and mark. No single lecturer decides what marks to be given to a particular student.”
When asked if Eradiri’s allegations were not true, the varsity image maker said, “In fact, that issue has been taken care of by reason of this latest development (conference marking approach). If a female (student) fall prey to that kind of arrangement, it will not work. We have also conscientised the students on that. They are aware.
“If a student decides to fall prey to that kind of arrangement, you are on your own because that lecturer cannot give you any extra mark.”
He further said that the conference marking approach had engendered high standards in academics in the institution, stressing that “it is very evident that first class in NDU is a first class everywhere.”