Award winning Ghanaian journalist, Manasseh Azure, has disproved BBC’s s*x for grades documentary in a in a post on social media.
On Monday 7th October, 2019, BBC’s Africa Eye journalist, Kiki Mordi released an investigative tape on how lecturers in some West African Universities use s*x to harass female students in order to influence grades.
The documentary has implicated two lecturers in the University of Ghana, Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor and Prof. Ransford Gyampo. And they have been interdicted by the school authorities.
But many have criticized the ‘credibility’ of the investigative piece; mainly because of the title and how it does not relate to the research in question.
See Manasseh Azure Awuni’s post below;
The “Sex for Grades” hypothesis
When going undercover to bust someone allegedly involved in an illegal or immoral act, you secretly record the incident, unobtrusively, as it takes place between the culprit and third parties. Where, that is impossible, you may have a sting operation. Here again, you pose, for instance, as the prey, meet the predator and record proceedings. In that case, you don’t change the identity of the character you are playing or the subject of your investigation when you meet the alleged predator.
Investigative journalism is like academic research. If you have randomly or purposively (as in Prof. Gyampo’s case) sampled a university lecturer who allegedly offers undeserved grades to his sexually harassed students, then you can only use one approach to test your hypothesis: let your engagement focus on the subject of the investigation. Go to the lecturer and tell him you are one of his over one thousand students and you have failed his subject or you are not sure of passing his subject. If he asks for sex in order to give you the grade, you have your story.
You can easily get a fake student ID card and index number that show you a student taking his course. When you are going to bust a lecturer offering grades in return for sex, you don’t go to him or her as someone seeking mentorship or to seek national service placement without mentioning the subject of grades.
In the case of Prof. Gyampo, as shown in the video, the lecturer made advances at a student who wanted to be mentored. In the process, he told her to be free to accept or reject the proposal. She did not give in. He requested a hug after buying her shoes. She declined. And they parted ways.
I’m not justifying the conduct of Prof. Gyampo in the video. But the BBC’s investigative hypothesis, “Sex for Grades”, cannot be accepted or rejected because it was not tested in the first place.