Is it wrong for single male lecturers to fall in love with their students?
Interactions between a student and a lecturer in love in the classroom is often seen as a display of affection.
Could it be because we have seen too many incidents of lecturers harassing their female students or why exactly do some of us frown at lecturers getting married to the students they love?
The Nigerian academic campuses are full of stories of lecturers seeking sexual favour from students to satisfy their amorous hunger.
Also, there are loads of stories about female students seducing lecturers to sleep with them to give them undeserved grades in their tests or exams.
This is a vicious cycle no university management can deny in Nigeria. It happens elsewhere too but here it is more or less a campus culture. It is a culture of two people helping each other. Both of them using what they have to get what the want.
The proliferation of sexual favours in our campuses has really made it difficult to see a true love between a male lecturer and his student.
Many students would jump into conclusion at the sight of the two walking side by side or talk for one or two hours behind a closed door.
Don't tell me what you think when you see something like this, I know we are that judgemental as a people.
Honestly, some lecturers wish to fall in love with students as students do amongst themselves. Some single lecturers genuinely love some students but they usually have to wait until the student graduate from the school before they can tie the knot.
The relationship between a lecturer and a student is so stigmatised that you may never see a lecturer-student public display of affection on the campus.
Doing that in an institution where the management strongly frowns at affairs between lecturers and students is equal to losing your job, hence do not need to express your love if you love your job.
Generally, students believe it is not wrong for lecturers to fall in love with their students. Love is a feeling and can grow from anywhere.
It only becomes a crime when the lecturer hides under the pretence of love to take advantage of the student sexually.
When students, know about the relationship between Mr lecturer and his beloved student, there is a high tendency that the female student won't contribute to class discourse if her intending husband is the one lecturing.
If the girl is very expressive, willing to answer questions and make an input, there is always that awkward moment that changes the lecture room atmosphere to something else. Everyone stops to see them as a lecturer and a student exchanging ideas but lovers romantically dominating the class discourse.
Seeking the opinion of academic staff member on love affairs between students and lecturers, a senior lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Dr Charles Robert said it is not wrong for a lecturer to fall in love with a student not done to favour marks or immorally but it is a difficult thing to do.
He said dating a student exposes the lecturer to bias and unfair treatments of other students and if students know about the relationship, they will take advantage of it.
''If the students know about it, they will take advantage, for example, they will use the spouse to "bribe" the lecturer they will also want to know the score of the student all the time''.
Sharing his experience, Dr Charles said relationship with a student often turns out to be a trap.
"My son was in my department immediately he got in some of the lecturers approached me to ask me to introduce him to them they wanted to know his matric number, but I made sure I never got involved in his academics because if I introduce him to them they will claim they are helping him or even victimize him only to use that to trap me.
"Imagine a wife there. When a students fail to submit an assignment, they will ask her to plead on their behalf.
"But if the lecturer can keep the "flame" and he is not biased in his marking the script of the student why not? It is difficult anyway I know prof in France who married their student I also know prof in UI who marry student (not their students anyway) and there was no problem at all.''
While is it difficult for single lecturers to maintain fairness while dating an undergraduate, Dr Charles believe it is better to fall in love with post-graduate students because of their level of maturity. And since it is not a crime to marry from one's environment of operation, it is ideal for single lecturers to marry their students if their relationship would not affect lecture room atmosphere.
This piece is not justifying immoral behaviour between lecturers and students, rather it is speaking for upright lecturers whose desire to marry their students without taking any undue advantage.
Abeg, let some of our lecturers love in peace. Thank you.
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