The Ministry of Technical and Higher Education stands accused of condoning sexual harassment in tertiary institutions across the country. The Ministry is paying lip service to address the issue as seriously required.

Many sexual harassment cases in higher learning institutions perpetrated by lecturers, Dean of Campuses and faculties, and other Senior Staff members of those institutions have been reported to the Ministry, but all have fallen on deaf ears.

The recent case in point at the Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU), which the Higher Education Ministry has failed to address, has sent a very bad signal to the general public especially when the perpetrators continue to place victims in public shame and disgrace, leading to some of them ready to quit their studies.

After going through the University policies and the investigations, Six Lecturers confessed their unruly acts of sexual harassment against female students.

These lectures allegedly threatened and convinced students to have sex for grades or to give them money in exchange for grades and promise them an easy ride throughout their courses. As they were handed over to the police, some authorities in the government fought hard to secure their release. Prof.

Kanu has assured female students that they are fully protected by the laws of the University and that the University will do everything in its power to fight against unprofessional acts. Such a stance has been betrayed by his detractors on campus and outside the University,

It could be recalled on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, that President Julius Maada Bio expressed his outrage and total condemnation of the continued incidents of rape, and sexual and gender-based violence in the country.

“The depravity of sexual violence is obscene, criminal, and objectionable. As a Government, we stand with the survivors, victims, and their loved ones, and my Government will vigorously prosecute cases and bring all perpetrators to justice,” he said.

The question that remains unanswered is why the Bio-led government has failed to take the appropriate action against perpetrators of sexual harassment at h the Milton Margai Technical University. Instead, it has shamefully suspended the hardworking and dedicated Vice Chancellor who reported the indecent acts to the appropriate state authorities after an internal investigation had proven that the perpetrators are guilty of the offence.

The University Court and the Ministry had earlier L assured all; of a thorough investigation into the ac matter, but the effort has turned out to be lip service to its promise.

“We are shocked to realize that Prof. Philip Kanu – was suspended for taking disciplinary actions against the perpetrators of sexual harassment on campus,” a Senior Lecturer remarked.

Prof. Philip John Kanu assumed office on 5th May 2022 after fighting hard to see the Milton Margai = College of Education and Technology transformed to – its present University status. His stands against corruption and sexual harassment had not gone down = well with perpetrators, most of whom had formed = themselves into a cabal that had been fighting against the current administration, using tribal sentiment as one of their weapons.

Prof. Kanu’s decision to expose the sexual harassers on campus has led his detractors, with the support of some highly placed Ministry Officials to go after him.

“Sexual harassment and gender-based violence in higher education are signs of institutional failure. Indeed, victims may see their academic careers stunted or destroyed. The vicious cycle of poverty and moral decadence is perpetuated. Endemic gender-based violence and sexual harassment undermine the attainment of the government’s Human Capital Development agenda in Sierra Leone,” an Academy embarked on Tuesday, adding that the government must not treat the current issue of sexual harassment at the MMTU lightly if it is serious about developing the education sector.