Lecturer sacked for altering student’s marks

A UNIVERSITY lecturer at Universite Libre de Kigali (ULK) has been fired for allegedly doctoring a female student’s marks, The Sunday Times has learnt.

A UNIVERSITY lecturer at Universite Libre de Kigali (ULK) has been fired for allegedly doctoring a female student’s marks, The Sunday Times has learnt.

The university’s top governing body, the senate, sacked Willy Gasafari at the end of last month after discovering the alteration.

A source at the Gisozi-based University said Gasafari, the former head of demography, altered a first year female sociology student’s marks after she had failed five papers.

The identity of the girl was not available by press time.

With inflated marks the student was awarded first class performance and was subsequently promoted to second year. The shady dealings reportedly caused uproar among other students.

Reports from ULK, said the senate unearthed Gasafari’s clandestine move after a tip-off from a student.

Dr. Alphonse Ngagi Munyamfura, ULK’s Rector, confirmed Gasafari’s dismissal and said the senate was investigating whether the marks were awarded in return for sexual favours.

"We are still investigating whether it was about sex, bribery or blood relationship. What we have proved so far is that the girl’s marks were altered upwards," Ngagi said in a telephone interview on Thursday.

"The girl shared it with her friends and that is how we got wind of it. Gasafari changed the marks alone in his office."

All first year sociology students’ marks were reportedly going through Gasafari and he has the last word to determine who is promoted.

Ngagi said other five cases of students who are said to have been awarded marks unfairly from Gasafari are also being investigated.

When rumours of the cheating first came up early this year, a three-man audit team was assigned to ascertain the authenticity of the reports.

The team reportedly returned after one month only to implicate Gasafari and the sociology female student. Earlier, the girl is said to have assured her class mates that she was determined not to repeat.

Later when she was promoted despite poor marks in previous exams, it dawned on her classmates that something was amiss.

Ngangi stressed that cases of awarding free marks to students were not rampant throughout the university.

Gasafari could no be reached for comment.

ULK Chancellor Professor, Rwigamba Balinda, said last week that the incident will not undermine the academic excellence of university since culprits once discovered are severely punished.

"The culture of impunity cannot be tolerated," Balinda said in an interview at the Parliamentary buildings.

He said the university examines students’ marked scripts annually to avoid possible cheating. "We have sacked many in the past and the process is ongoing," Balinda said.

Last year, ULK fired ten lecturers over the same matter.

Former Education minister Dr. Jeanne D’Arc Mujawamariya had repeatedly warned that awarding free marks in return for any favours from students is unprofessional and punishable.