23 April, 2013

Kenya and Uganda: students can rate Performance of lecturers and report corruption

Not In My Country 
Of all places, no where else is corruption as abhorrent as when it happens in institutions of learning and education. Any one who knows the workings of East African secondary and high schools, colleges and universities - would most likely know, too, how corrupt those working in them can be. Headmasters, principals and heads of colleges and universities are known to take bribes or ask for other forms of favours which can be: financial, material or even sexual. Many know how some one was admitted in a certain educational institution because he/she gave bribes or provided some form of favour  Many, too, know of favors being given to teachers or instructors or lecturers for the benefit of a student.

I recall, years ago, while in a boys' boarding school of hundreds of students - there was this fat matron who used certain of us sexually for her to give us some favour or extra stuff. She would either aggressively cajole or bully and get her way. Then, I thought it was fun and helpful, but years later when thinking of this - I have been so disgusted and so overwhelmed with repugnance that I some times vomit. I become so angered at times that this hippo of a woman, who was more than twice our age, had such a large choice of boys to choose from (she was the one who decided who she would use and she made sure that none of us reported her or knew that she was sexually abusing others). Such sexual abuses happen in many educational institutions. Men working in such institutions, in particular, are known to use their powers to get sexual favours from female students or teachers.

Now, for those in universities in Kenya and Uganda, there is a way of reporting such corrupt, irresponsible and abusive people working in many of these institutions. Not In My Country is an Internet, online site started by some very clever, anonymous people for reporting indecent activities by university lecturers and administrative personnel. Through the website, students can anonymously and securely rate the job performance of their lecturers and administrators, report corruption committed by these individuals, and also view and participate in performance rankings of academic staff and departments....read more here.

I have been wondering: had I such a tool years ago - would I have reported that fat woman? Browsing through the Not In My Country website, I see that very, very few students are using it to rate or report. The only way that this very useful tool can properly work, is if most students use it. University students should know that by using the website, they would be very much helping in ending corrupt and abusive behaviours  and serving society. At the same time, the website can also be used maliciously, to intentionally and wrongly malign or spoil lecturers' or other university personnel's names. Any student or anyone who uses this website in such a negative and cruel, is as bad as those taking bribes or abusing their offices.

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