by Lumai Mubanga
In 2019, the British broadcasting corporation carried a disturbing documentary entitled “Sex for Grades: undercover inside Nigerian and Ghanaian universities – BBC Africa Eye documentary.” The documentary highlighted the sad story of female students at Universities in Ghana and Nigeria in particular who succumb to unsolicited sex advances from some of their professors and lecturers in exchange for good grades. In other situations, lazy female students willingly offer their bodies for sex in exchange for good grades from their lecturers.
Centralized Grading Systems, a Problem?
Basically, some lecturers or professors who are in this habit will identify vulnerable students whose performance in their courses is poor. In some case, compromised lecturers take advantage of their position to demand for sex even from performing students. Once the target is identified, the lecturer demands for sex in exchange for good grades. Failure to comply is threatened with poor grades and early dropouts. In both cases, the victim end up paying with their bodies in exchange for good grades.
The loophole lies in the fact that many college and University grading systems are centralized. Professors and lectures have all the power to decide how they grade their students. This centralized power has allowed some unscrupulous lecturers to take advantage of vulnerable girls.
How blockchain can unsettle this?
The blockchain revolution is anchored on specific database management principles that makes it unique. These include immutability and decentralized management. These principles ensure that data is visible, accessible as well as temper proof and that the central authority is removed completely in managing the system, or distributed to lessen abuse. In the case under discussion, it would mean decentralizing the grading system so that no one individual becomes the final decider for student’s grades.
A transparent, immutable and decentralized Grading System
The decentralized grading system would demand that independent lecturers and professors within and outside the University subject every marked script by a given lecturer to a number of moderations and confirmations on the blockchain network, in the same way that other blockchain transactions undergo confirmations. Only after this is done will a grade be confirmed as final. This will decentralize the grading system. The impact of this is that no single lecturer or professor will abuse their positions for sexual favors especially that students will be aware that they are not the final deciders on their grades.
In addition, the transparent grading system will curb the idea of lazy students soliciting sex from their compromised lecturers in exchange for good grades. Knowing that a certain lecturer is not a final authority on their grades will certainly make them work hard for their grades and help reduce this disgraceful habit.
Note that, what is presented here is not the technical details of how this can be done, but generally how blockchain can tackle the problem. As to what type of blockchain to employ is left to the implementation technical teams to decide.
Indeed, blockchain has potential to unsettle long standing disgraceful habits.