Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Minister Patricia Kaliati has warned male lecturers in higher learning institutions to stop giving female students marks in exchange for sex.
The minister spoke against sexual abuse in the institutions and called for respect for female students.
She made the remarks in Lilongwe Monday, when she presided over the launch of Model Gender and Anti- Sexual Harassment Policy in Higher Education Institutions in Malawi.
She claimed the practice of sex for grades was “killing the nation” because it was compromising professionalism in institutions of higher learning.
“Some [women] are being given grades without going through the processes just because they offered sex to the men.
“The quality of education and the quality of programmes being implemented might not be up to standard because of that,” she said.
Kaliati said, in future, lecturers that abuse female students would be named and shamed.
National Council for Higher Education acting Chief Executive Officer Ambumulire Phiri said 22 higher learning institutions had, so far, either reviewed or developed gender policies based on the model policy.
Phiri said there have been reports of gender inequalities in public universities, including sex for grades, indicating that the model would address such challenges.
United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Maria Jose Torres called for collective efforts to address the problem of sexual violence.
“Gender equality is a basis for a better world… We have given ourselves the task of changing the behaviour that is affecting a lot of people,” Torres said.
Secretary for Education Chikondano Mussa challenged higher learning institutions to fully use gender policies as guided by the Model Gender and Anti-sexual Harassment Policy that has been launched.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.