Kalthum Foundation for Peace, a Maiduguri-based non-governmental organization, has raised the alarm on how teachers are taking advantage of female students in public and private schools in Borno State.
Mohammed Bulama, Programme Manager, Kalthum Foundation for Peace, stated this in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
He disclosed that a research conducted by the NGO across 40 post primary and tertiary institutions located within the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Munguno and Jere Councils, revealed that the menace of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) is taking place at an alarming rate.
He said: “It’s alarming to such extent that in some cases both victims and perpetrators behaved as if it is a normal thing. We want to make it categorically clear that it is wrong for anyone to engage in any sexual activity with a minor.
“There is no need to mention the names of these institutions. The fact of the matter is that female students are suffering in silence because of their inability or ignorance whenever they are assaulted by their male counterparts or teachers, as for those in the post primary institutions who are mostly below 18 years, which is the age of consent according to the Child Rights Act.
“Many of these innocent girls fall victims of SGBV because they think they are in love with their teachers or some male adults in their community. It is very unfortunate! Within a month, we have recorded 40 cases of SGBV mostly in MMC.”
Mohammed added that Kalthum Foundation has agreed to collaborate with the Confederation of Women’s Association for Peace Initiative, through the support of British Council, European Union and CSOs on innovative strategies developed to monitor, prevent and gather intelligence to punish perpetrators.
“We are going to launch an SGBV whistle blowing site, where victims and members of the public can submit tips, proofs and complaints of SGBV and related matters on 1st May, 2019,” he added.