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Teachers, Lecturers To Sign S*xual Harassment Prevention Form

Teachers and lecturers in various institutions of learning across the country are now required to sign the Prevention of S*xual Exploitation and Abuse Code of Conduct form.

The action is part of measures to check the alarming rate of s*xual-related violence in learning institutions across the country.

According to the standard operating procedure for the prosecution of perpetrators of school-related gender-based violence cases in Nigeria recently launched by the Federal Ministry of Justice and Education, it is prohibited for teachers to engage in sexual relationships with direct beneficiaries between 18 and 24.

Teachers are also barred from holding, hugging, or touching students/learners in an inappropriate or culturally insensitive way.

In addition, teachers are prohibited from staying in secluded areas alone with students.

The form partly read, “I agree that I will not abuse or exploit students/learners; engage in any form of s*xual activity or develop physical/sexual relationships with anyone under the age of 18 outside the school environment. I understand that mistaking the age of the child is not an excuse.

“(I will not) engage in s*xual relationships with direct beneficiaries ages 18-24.

“(I will not) engage youth(s) in any form of s*xual activity which involves the exchange of money, employment, goods or services for s*x. This includes s*xual favours or other forms of humiliating or exploitative behaviour.

“(I will not) use language or behave towards a student/learner in a way that is inappropriate, offensive, abusive, s*xually provocative, demeaning, or culturally inappropriate.

“(I will not) hold, hug, or touch students/learners in an inappropriate or culturally insensitive way.

“(I will not) do things of a personal nature for students/learners with whom I am in contact at work that they can do for themselves (for example, taking them to the toilet or helping them get undressed).

“(I will not) spend time alone away from others with students/learners with whom I am in contact at work. I will always make sure that another adult is with me and/or I am with the students/learners in an open public place.”

The government in the SOP also directed learning institutions to create a procedure for recruiting staff members that can detect paedophiles and other perpetrators of s*xual offences against students/learners.

The SOP also directed that “the following recruitment process for personnel should be considered:

“Written character references, verification of references, and a signed statement of commitment to the state Ministry of Women in line with the ministry’s Child Protection Policy.

“An affidavit of good behaviour on interaction with children.

“Background checks, check s*x offenders’ register in the states and federal.”

When contacted, the President, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, declined to comment on the development, saying he had yet to get a copy of the SOP.

“I have not seen the standard operating procedure. I can’t comment on it,” he simply said.

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