Dealing With The SGBV Issue

RECENT REPORT ENTITLED ‘Passing The Test’- The real cost of being a student, revealed that 96 percent of boys and girls in Liberia have experienced at least one form of abuse with 52 percent of students revealing that they have been forced to have sex.

THE LIBERIAN RESEARCH shows that many people think sex between teachers and school girls is quite common and that this is transactional because the teachers will use their position, or power to have sex with the students in return for grades.

ACCORDING TO THE report, 18 percent of school girls and just over 13 percent of school boys reported being asked for sex for better grades and that all of these relationships are abusive, given the power differentials and the students’ age terming it as a violation of the Code of Conduct for Liberian teachers and school administrators.

“THE WIDE BELIEF in the prevalence of sex for grades is leading to a lack of faith by students that the marks they receive reflect the quality of their work thus leading to lack of respect for teachers…rather than school being an opportunity to challenge negative behavioral norms, GBV is ignored than school becomes another factor that normalizes abuse of power within relationships,” the report maintained.

WE ARE CONCERNED about the wave of sexual gender-based violence in our various schools in the country and call on school authorities to begin creating awareness to ensure that school administrators adhere to this madness and deal with those involved in such practice.

LET IT BE known that the sexual-based violence is a serious crime and anyone involved in such practice is nothing but common criminal and will be prosecuted for his action.

WE ALL KNOW that Gender-Based Violence is not only in schools as the research highlights but that such abuse is normal for Liberian school girls and boys because it carries social attitude in general. That is why we are calling on all partners not only at the schools but also at the societal level because such abuse is not only meted out in the educational system rather it is also found in adolescents’ health and child protection cases.

CHILDREN WHO GO to school are not there to be abused by teachers or school administrator but to acquire some level of education and that is why we are appealing on school administrators and their teachers to stop abusing our children. Let this warning goes to all teachers in the country that abusing our children sexually is a serious crime under the law and that we will not condone such practice.

WE ALSO CALL on the Government of Liberia to take this issue seriously and create awareness to teachers in the country to avoid such situation.