THE recent "bad" publicity about lecturers allegedly soliciting sexual favours from students in exchange for marks has a negative impact on the value of qualifications offered by institutions of higher learning.
This is according to the Polytechnic Student Representative Council (SRC).
"The recent reports of sex for marks and bribery by a countless number of individuals at tertiary institutions have been reported in a way that has somehow misled the public to believe that it is now a common practice in these institutions," said Charlie Matengu, SRC member for information and publicity at the Polytechnic.
This comes after an article in the Namibian Sun last week reported that a government-sanctioned investigation at the Polytechnic had confirmed incidents of academic fraud and a string of sexual relationships between students and lecturers.
According to the SRC, they feel the media's use of words makes it appear as though all Polytechnic students are engaged in the practice of exchanging sex for marks.
"We are a family of dedicated students who always strive for the best through our hard work and dedication to our studies. If by any chance such practices do exist on our campus, then it's just a number that does not even constitute 0.1 per cent of the student population of Polytechnic," said Matengu.
He called for media reports of this nature to be "very specific and the names of the culprits should also be published because any generalisation in reporting will make the nation believe that these kind of unethical behaviours have become common practices at Polytechnic and will negatively affect our hard-working students."
Matengu said the SRC feels that such generalised reporting will lead to employers questioning the qualifications of Polytechnic students.
"Such reports will sabotage the credibility of qualifications offered by tertiary institutions in Namibia and ultimately lead to our qualifications being rejected by other countries," he said.
Although Matengu and the SRC did not deny that such incidents are happening on campus, they said they would await the outcome of an investigation into the claims before making taking it up with management and those responsible.