The university’s disciplinary committee said in a statement released to the BBC on Monday that it had ruled that the teachers had breached the university’s code of conduct rules when they made lewd comments to students. The university suspended Ransford Gyampo for six months and Paul Butakor for four months, without pay. Both men deny the allegations made in the documentary.
Gyampo and Butakor will be required to complete training about the university’s sexual harassment misconduct policy. They will only be allowed to return to the school if they receive a positive assessment following the training, and will receive annual assessments for the next five years, the statement said.
In Ghana, gender-based violence and sexual abuse are not limited to college campuses. Studies found that 14% of girls are victims of sexual abuse and 52% have experienced violence.
The University of Ghana suspends two lecturers for various periods without salary after 'sex-for-grades' film.— The African Voice (@teddyeugene) February 18, 2020
Professor Ransford Gyampo (L) and Dr Paul Kwame Butakor deny wrongdoing pic.twitter.com/KZNKNW0fmm
The teachers’ suspension has received mixed reactions from residents of Accra, where the University of Ghana is located.
One woman told the BBC that the short-term punishment “makes the whole investigation a joke.” Another man felt differently and said the university’s action will empower other students to speak out against harassment.
A Nigerian teacher was also suspended after Sex for Grades aired in October. The Nigerian Senate debated a bill reintroduced in response to the BBC’s investigation on Monday, which would make it illegal for professors to make any advances towards students. Currently, there are few laws that prohibit sexual harassment in the country and some states only have regulations within tertiary schools.
Ghanian activists are hopeful that the outrage sparked by the BBC’s expose will encourage more survivors to speak out.