Mass Communication students of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, on Wednesday campaigned against education Inducement.
The students were seen carrying different placards with different inscriptions such as: “say no to Sex for grade”, “say no bribery of any kind”, “sexual prowess should not be a bait for grade”, “test my brain not my pocket”, “don’t trade academic excellence for monetary inducement”, “mark my script! Leave my face and backside!”, “teach me well today, I may be your children’s teacher tomorrow”, “say no to certificate/admission racketeering” among others.
Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Engr. Dr. Kadiri Kamoru commended Mass Communication Department for the insightful campaign.
The Rector, who was ably represented by Dr. Salimonu Rasheed Ishaq, the Deputy Rector Administration said: “in the Federal Polytechnic Offa, we have zero tolerance for academic inducement in whatever form. And we always speak against this.
“You know it takes two to tango. If it is reported to us we always act upon it. As I’m talking to you, we are in staff disciplinary committee. This is to show you we place emphasis on discipline. We have zero tolerance for inducements, be it corruption, intellectual fraud, sex-for-grade, students indiscipline and others.”
He thereafter charged the students not to encourage academic inducement.
“Like I said, it takes two to tango. If it is not reported to us, we won’t know it is happening,” he finally said.
Dean, School of Communication and Information Technology, SCIT, Dr. Oluwakemi Omoniyi Ogungbamigbe said academic inducement, also known as academic dishonesty or academic misconduct, is a serious issue that can undermine the integrity of academic institutions and devalue the achievements of honest students.
She added that academic inducement has taken another turn in its definition in recent years.
“Traditionally, it is thought that academic inducement is from the lecturers to the students, but recent studies have revealed that students themselves do this to gain their lecturers’ favours. This maybe due to the fact that they are not ready to learn, to work and to study. They are looking for shortcuts to pass.
“Let’s talk about professional final year project for instance, they (students) don’t want to write. So, they try to find lecturers they can induce who would say ‘don’t worry, I will give you so-so without doing any work.’ For students to achieve that, that means there is also a lecturer who is willing. They are two willing parties to make this happen.”
Dr. Ogungbamigbe confirmed that the school has been sanctioning lecturers who were caught involved in different academic malpractices and inducements.
The head of Mass Communication Department, Mr. Bankole Temidayo Olurotimi said the campaign is a yearly tradition in the department, and it is geared towards Campaign management and planning.
“The Engr. Dr. Kadiri Kamoru-led administration of the Polytechnic has zero tolerance for corruption. That is why we come up with this campaign so the students and lecturers will be sensitized.
“We are also appealing to the conscience of individuals, the lecturers and students, because two parties are always involved in the academic inducement. There are students who want to buy their ways and lecturers who feel students can be exploited in that regard.
“We have to appeal to their conscience and warn them of consequences. There are laws in the country that are against that. And the current administration has told the departments to set up disciplinary committees. That is to tell you whoever that is caught will be dealt with,” he said.
Chuks Okoji stated that academic inducement come in different forms.
Okoji, who is one of the supervisors of the project said, “this (academic inducement) in simplest term is bribery. This could be from lecturers to the students and vice versa. These could be paying money to lecturers for grades, using body to earn marks and other things. By the last I mean students going as far as going to do house chores in the houses of their lecturers so as to gain favour. We say no to it.
“We should be able to distinguish between academics and relationship.
“Students should be graded according to the what they earn and not the sizes of their pockets or body – as in the case with female students.”
Mr. Abdulquadir Babatunde, another supervisor of the campaign, said ending academic inducement requires a multifaceted approach that involves education, policy, enforcement, culture, and technology.
In his words, “by implementing multifaceted approach and strategies, institutions can discourage academic misconduct and promote academic integrity.
“While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to ending academic inducement, here are some suggestions that may help. We can start by educating students because I believe that educating students on the consequences of academic misconduct and the importance of academic integrity can help prevent incidents of academic inducement.
“Secondly, institutions need on academic misconduct that outlines what constitutes academic misconduct, the consequences of such misconduct, and the procedures for reporting and investigating incidents. They must also be able to enforce the policy.
They (institutions) have encourage a culture of academic integrity. Institutions can foster a culture of academic integrity by promoting honesty, fairness, and ethical behavior among students, faculty, and staff. This includes providing resources such as writing centers and tutoring services to help students succeed academically without resorting to academic inducement.
“Lastly, we must use technology. Technology can be used to help prevent academic inducement. For example, plagiarism detection software can be used to check student work for instances of plagiarism.”