04 Jan 2013

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The virginity test conducted on some students of Ajuwon High School is unhealthy

The virginity test conducted on some Senior Secondary School 1 (SSS 1) pupils of Ajuwon Senior High School, Ajuwon, Ifo Local Government Area, Ogun State, by the school principal, Rev. Olufunke Oladeojobi, was the most barbaric and primitive act to have come out of any part of Nigeria in recent memory. Apparently living up to her self-acclaimed rating as a “strict disciplinarian”, Mrs. Olaeojobi overreached herself by subjecting her hapless students to a most crude form of virginity test, which in any case she had no authority to conduct.

In a case which exemplifies an abuse of trust, Oladeojobi, together with a “nurse” of doubtful professional integrity, jointly carried out the “virginity” tests on a group of 10 students without seeking their parents’ approval. According to reports, the Principal took the students to her office where she and her co-conspirator allegedly took turns in dipping their fingers into the students' private anatomy to ascertain if the affected girls had lost their virginity. Those who were “confirmed” to be still virgins during the exercise received a “gift” of an exercise book from Oladeojobi. One girl who reported “failed” the principal’s “virginity test” had her name written into the school’s “black book” and even paraded before the school assembly.

We are aware of the action taken by the Ogun State Ministry of Education which has now suspended Oladeojobi for this reprehensible violation. Yet we consider mere suspension from office as grossly inadequate a punishment for an offence of the nature committed by the principal. Nothing but outright dismissal would suffice if only to serve as deterrence to others who might habour such inclinations.

Even at that, the affected students still reserve the right to press for further charges in a civil court. Not only was the principal’s action crude by methodology and brute in execution, it was, to say the least, a gross violation of the rights of those children as guaranteed under the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights which are actionable in law.

Although some traditional purists could argue that Oladeojobi may have acted out of genuine concern to instil moral discipline into her students by ensuring they retained their virginity, such argument flies in the face of reason. For instance, the curious test was conducted on just 10 out of 600 SSS1 students, although 300 admitted to having “lost their virginity” prior to the test. The pertinent questions remain: What about the critical 290 others whose virginity status was still in doubt? By the way who told the principal that retaining one’s virginity was synonymous with moral uprightness? Who says that only virgins are the good persons in character and up-bringing? In any case, while being a virgin may be desirable, it was never stipulated as one of the preconditions for admission into Ajuwon Senior High School, or for that matter any other secondary school in Ogun State or even in Nigeria. For certain, Ajuwon Senior High is not a Convent. Even these days, would-be-nuns are not subjected to the sort of shameful virginity test ala Oladeojobi’s.

We must state here that in condemning the crude virginity test we are not in any way encouraging sexual promiscuity in our schools. We condemn the act for its reprehensible and distasteful nature. It is a practice not in consonance with 21st century world and therefore absolutely unacceptable. We therefore urge Ogun State government to make an example of Oladeojobi by going beyond merely suspending her. In fact, it will not be out of place to make her apologise publicly to the lone student whose name she reportedly placed on the school’s “black book”.

Tags: Editorial, Featured, Virginity Test

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