Report of boycott by university students with PNG Government

PORT MORESBY - The Papua New Guinea Government is studying a report into the current boycott of classes at the University of Natural Resource and Environment, Popondetta campus, and is expected to respond soon.

The office of the Acting Minister for Higher Education Don Polye says a ground report including interviews with the Registrar, staff and the administration has been completed.

Students at the University are threatening a mass withdrawal if they do not get a favourable answer to their petition, by the end of this week. They are demanding among other things full financial powers to the campus and upgrading of learning facilities.

Meanwhile, an independent assessment is underway to assess reports of the recent students unrest at the University of Goroka (UOG).

The assessment is based on the reports compiled during a meeting held at the University by officials from the Ministry and Office of Higher Education.

Media Officer for the acting Minister for Higher Education, Research Science and Technology, Wanpis Ako, told NBC News, once completed, the recommendations will be presented to the Prime Minister Peter O'Neill, who's standing in for Polye who's away in India on an official engagement.

UOG's Chancellor Benaias Sabumei is also working on a separate report on the saga.

Students claim the two weeks holiday imposed by the University administration and the Council is illegal.

The holiday period, effective from last Friday was circulated through a memo to students at the university.

Spokesperson and Student Leader Nelson Molo says there are three more weeks remaining before the second semester holidays.

He said students will remain on campus to pursue their concerns. They have organised themselves into provincial groups to raise funds for a lawyer to pursue their second petition, which they claim contains hard evidence to validate their allegations against the administration. [IslandBusiness]
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