DURBAN - Lecherous lecturers who demand sex in return for good marks could be named and shamed if students attending a Durban conference get their way.
The problem of “sex for marks” was a big issue at one of the sessions at the HEAids National Youth Conference held at the Durban International Convention Centre, Anne Githuku-Shongwe, the UN representative, told the closing session.
She recalled that 321 students had gathered for one of the sessions of the Higher Education and Training HIV/Aids Programme, where they had identified specific problems - and they had come up with 31 solutions.
Power relations at campuses proved to be a “very big issue”, particularly the role of lecturers and sex for marks, she said.
After brainstorming, the students came up with an “interesting concept” - to identify the offending lecturers on an application “grey list” so that their names would be known.
It would have to be subject to a verification system, Githuku-Shongwe said, adding that the idea “is something we will continue to work with”.
The conference also heard that financially-strapped students have “no choice” but to sleep with older, wealthier men.
Mduduzi Manana, the Deputy Minister of the Department of Higher Education and Training, said there was a close connection between student funding - and lack of it - and new infections of HIV on university and college campuses.
Delegates had told him at the conference and when he travelled around the country that they did not like linking up with older men, as they were not attracted to them, but that without money, they were left with no choice.
Manana later said the students told him the funding they got was insufficient - and that it also arrived late.
“They asked me to deal with the administrative side so that the funds came in on time,” he said.
They had also asked him when the government was going to implement free higher education for the very poor.
“I told them that a presidential commission had been appointed to look at the funding system, and that it was due to report back at the end of June,” he said, adding that the report would be tabled in the cabinet.
He also explained that the budget had been increased, which had gone a long way to address student funding, “but it is still insufficient”.
The theme of the conference was “Empowering the Youth”, and Carol Masinga, a peer mentor of the Soul City Rise Clubs, won applause when she said it was “not okay to be raised in poverty and live in fear”.
She was wearing a mini to show off her beautiful legs: “I am not asking for Aids,” she stressed, pointing out that a woman’s dress code “gives you confidence”.