Education

Rape, sexual harassment in schools attributable to dressing pattern — KASU Professor

Professor Butari Upah, a Professor of pragmatics and discourse analysis at the Faculty of Arts, Department of English and Drama, Kaduna State University (KASU), has made a case for dress pattern in the institution.

Upah made the case at KASU’s 10th professorial inaugural lecture held at the institution on Tuesday where he presented a lecture titled ‘Communicative Variables of Dress Pattern as Semiotic Feature in KASU as Macrocosm of Nigeria’.

According to him, rape and sexual harassment which he described as a ‘nightmare’ in schools and the nation at large are attributable to dressing pattern.

He noted that his studies examined the dress pattern of members of KASU as a speech community against many years of studies where communication was usually narrowed down to only written and spoken language, paying little attention to non-verbal forms of communication.

“Dress pattern is capable of communicating to people your social foundation, character, influences decision and responses, among many others.

“Besides giving outer cover to the body, it possesses verifiable and social milestone, philosophy and ideas, political contemplation, religious beliefs about the wearer context of situation determines the dress pattern of members of KASU community class, status, schedule of duties constitute a strong factor in one’s dress pattern ie KASU community,”.

“As a multilingual society, the dress patterns of members of KASU reflect their various backgrounds such as region, religion, sex in some instances, age, occupation, social status.

“The inscriptions on the T-shirts of members of KASU bear messages that depict: intimidation, immoral, abstinence, materialism, sweet, beauty among others.

“Since one’s dress pattern bears semiotic signs and symbols capable of sending out significant messages and signals to onlookers, members of KASU community need to be conscious of their outfits since what they wear is capable of creating positive or negative image to the general society,” he said.

Upah called on the University to urgently make official policies that would not just recognise the dress pattern of other ethnic nationalities in the country.

He also urged the University to declare cultural weeks where all members of the KASU community would be encouraged to appear in their outfits as demonstration for Nigeria’s unity in diversity

“As a multilingual and multinational society, KASU dress code should also encourage the use of the various traditional attires that abound in the nation and not just aligning to the Abrahamic faiths and the western dress patterns,” he said.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of KASU, Prof. Muhammad Tanko, said inaugural lectures being academic matters are designed to allow professors to showcase their research findings from its inception to current.

Tanko, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Yohanna Tella, said KASU had always encouraged its staff in research, noting that it was beneficial to academics to address problems and gaps in societies and the nation at large. (NAN)

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