Chris Steven, Abuja
Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah has constituted a five-man investigative panel to unravel the veracity of alleged sexual harassment against a female JSS11 student by a male teacher of the College.
A press statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the Deputy Director Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Bem Goong, said the Minister charged members of the panel to do a thorough investigation to unravel the truth behind the allegations as well as make recommendations to Government on how to deal with the situation based on the principles of truth, justice and fairness to all parties.
The names and identities of the five-man panel were however concealed by the Minister.
This, according to Professor Anwukah was to avoid avoid unnecessary pressure on members of the panel from interested parties due to the sensitive nature of their assignment.
The Minister, in the statement advised parents, guardians, students and staff of Queens College who may have credible information on the matter to avail same to the committee via the following telephone number; 07034613096 and email;[email protected].
This was as Professor Anwukah assured the general public, particularly parents and guardians whose wards are in any of the Unity Schools and other Federal Government Colleges that their children are in safe hands noting that Government would continue to do everything possible within the ambit of the law to protect their wards in all government schools across the country, including Queens College, Lagos.
He also used the opportunity to advise all parents to remain calm and avoid taking rash decisions that may affect their wards adversely.
The investigation panel has two weeks to submit its report.
Several reports from the conventional and social media/networks in the past few days have indicated that there was an alleged case of sexual molestation on a JSS II student by a teacher in the same school.
It would be recalled that the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) of Queens College, Lagos, said in Lagos on Monday that it had set up a panel to investigate the alleged sexual harassment in the school.
Chairman of the association, Beatrice Akhetuanen, told a news conference that the panel would be working with the Police Station in Sabo, Yaba to investigate the teacher said to be perpetrating the act.
According to online report, the teacher is said to have sexually harassed a JSS II student of the school.
The report claimed the teacher was usually drunk, and started molesting the girl who screamed and was rescued by some of the girls, booing him.
The student’s mother alleged that she reported the case to the House Mistress who confirmed the teacher was in the habit of doing such and there was nothing anyone could do to him.
She alleged that the case was also reported to the Vice Principal but she said the teacher would not be allowed to leave the school. That instead, her daughter would leave.
Mrs Akhetuanen said no parent had reported any sexual harassment to the principal or vice principal and that the teacher was not living in the school.
The PTA chairman, however, pleaded with the aggrieved parent to come forth so that the case could be looked into.
”The so-called parent has not shown herself, all efforts to get her has proved abortive.
“When I tried calling the number I saw on the report, she did not pick her call”, she said.
Earlier, the SSS III students were seen protesting, saying that the accused had been set up by someone and was unjustly accused.