I wish to respond to the letter written to the Editor on “KIE Administration Wake Up” signed by concerned students and which appeared in the New Times of Saturday 24th July 2010.
This letter is full of claims of informed ignorance and inaction on the part of KIE administration against members of staff who in one way or another have demanded sex or money in return for marks.
KIE has a comprehensive policy on sexual harassment and all staff and students are subject to it. Any member of staff or student found to have violated the policy by engaging in behaviour constituting harassment is subject to disciplinary action which includes dismissal, expulsion or termination or any other appropriate sanction besides the freedom of the offended person being at liberty to take necessary legal action.
If no action has been taken against any professional or ethical aberration by members of staff or students it is because such behaviour has not been reported by the victims. KIE is committed to a victim centred institutional response to acts of derogation. Victims are full parties to any action to be taken because without their evidence then the claims are tantamount to rumours.
The KIE administration has in no way partaken in any deliberate indifference to the plight of any student who may have been sexually harassed or asked to pay any sum of money in exchange for marks as claimed.
There has been a fair and prompt consideration of complaints and necessary action taken whenever such cases have been reported. Actions that have been taken by the KIE administration are in the public domain. No-one who acts unethically and unprofessionally is insulated from disciplinary action.
Insulation and in-action against peddlers of unethical and unprofessional behaviour amongst staff would be tantamount to flouting the edicts of social justice in lieu of the fact that students who cheat in exams are normally rusticated from the institute in accordance with the academic regulations.
Cleansing the ghosts of sexual compulsiveness and money theistic tendencies that compromises the tenets academic integrity will require the cooperation of the complainants who in this case have not made any attempts to make official claims against the said offenders.
We need to take cognizance of the fact that when one is not ready to point out an evil, we end up condoning it and eventually such evil becomes a malignant cancer that kills in the end.
The complainants are encouraged to make a report and decisive action shall be taken. We affirm that KIE will always endeavour to ensure the security and freedom of each of its members in the spirit of enhancement of quality education.
Media and Protocol Officer, Kigali Institute of Education