Sexual assault and violence against girls and women is a pervasive problem in Nigeria. Educational institutions are not exempt, as abuse is a problem that while often addressed has failed to lead to constructive changes. A recent case has generated widespread dismay on the matter of molestation in secondary schools. This alarming topic involves a teacher at a long established girls boarding school, Queen’s College. It was revealed after the parent of a student wrote a letter to a popular Nigerian gossip blog, OloriSuperGal, reporting the schools’ management.

 

In the letter, the parent shared harrowing details of her daughter’s alleged molestation at the hands of a drunk teacher. While names were redacted in the original letter, the teacher was later revealed to be Olaseni Osifala, a science teacher at the high school. The mother lamented the alarming response from the school administration when she reported the issue after her daughter confided in her. The administration, represented by the principal and vice principal of Queen’s College came out in staunch defence of Osifala.

 

(Olori Super Gal)

(Olori Super Gal)

Even more alarming, young students have been dragged into the delicate matter. Some organised a protest in support of their teacher. All this despite revelation that Osifala, who had taught at the school for years, has long made derogatory comments regarding students’ body parts. Amidst speculation that the school may be covering up the scandal and accusations of no formal investigation into Osifala, Nigerians are appalled at the situation.

 

Although public attention to matters surrounding assault and rape have helped in supporting causes, this shows that Nigerian society has a long way to go. That the school administration refused to react and that students came out in support of the teacher as opposed to the student, shows that there is little sympathy for victims.

 

Will social media put enough pressure on Queen’s College to investigate allegations made against Osifala? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or sending a tweet to @rafeeeeta