‘Sex for Grade’: Manasseh ‘schools’ BBC on investigative journalism

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Award-winning Ghanaian investigative journalist, Manasseh Azuri, has suggested that the investigative documentary by the BBC Africa Eye detailing how some lecturers allegedly exchange sex for grades failed to achieve its target, ABC News can report.

The investigations titled, “Sex for Grade” were carried out in some of West Africa’s prestigious universities including the University of Ghana and the University of Lagos, in Nigeria.

The investigations, which implicate Associate Professor Ransford Gyampo and Dr. Paul Kwame Butakor of the University of Ghana, have received mixed reactions from the public with many saying the BBC failed to establish that the lecturers captured at the University of Ghana actually engaged in issuing undeserved grades in exchange for sex.

Manasseh Azuri, one of the critics of the piece in a Facebook post said, “the BBC’s investigative hypothesis, “Sex for Grades”, cannot be accepted or rejected because it was not tested in the first place” indicating that the mission it set out to achieve was not clearly established.

“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,” he added.

Both of the men, Professor Ransford Gyampo and Dr Paul Kwame Butakor, have denied the allegations levelled against them in the “Sex for Grades” sting operation.

Professor Gyampo has, however, vowed to take legal action against the BBC.

Authorities of the University of Ghana have also rejected claims of exchange of sex for grades purported in the documentary but says it will investigate further for issues of misconduct, particularly, on the part of Professor Gyampo, Head of European Studies at the university.

Below is the full post of Manasseh Azuri sighted by ABC News

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.

Source: ABCNewsgh.com

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