SOLOMON Island students studying at PNG’s University of Goroka will be affected as classes have been boycotted by students calling for the removal of the schools interim governing council.
Classes have been disrupted for the last two weeks since the start of the academic year.
The National Training Unit confirmed that most students studying in PNG institutions have already left including those at the Goroka University.
The situation took another twist yesterday after the administration, which the students want changed, tried to force the students into the classrooms through a National Court order.
The students yesterday prepared to present a petition to the PNG’s Higher Education Minister Michael Ogio, demanding the removal of the council consisting of the vice chancellor Gairo Onagi and his two pro-vice chancellors.
The students started the boycott on day one of the registration week after alleging that there were malpractices in student’s administration and running of the university.
During a gathering at the campus last week, the students alleged that a lot of money had been diverted to businesses that were of no use to the university.
Student’s Representative Council president Benjamin Michael said the boycott would continue for an indefinite period until the Higher Education Minister Michael Ogio acted on their demands in the petition.
Mr Michael said the boycott started after students discovered that the list of intakes was largely made up of children of academic staff and dominated by students from one Highlands province.
“As president, I was shocked by an extraordinary meeting of the interim council of four members on January 4 to 8, in which, former PAU vice chancellor Nemani Tausere was flown all the way from Fiji to form a quorum and legitimise a ‘closed door’ discussion on certain decisions and endorsements which abused due processs of the university,” Mr Michael told the Post-Courier newspaper.
In an email to Solomon Star one of our local senior students said that they were not associated with the boycotting of the classes but there are times they had to follow what the student body did because of fear that the students might think our local students are not with them to share their grievances.
The Solomon Star understands that according to the terms and conditions signed between our students and the ministry of education, our students are not allowed to partake in such actions.
By DOUGLAS MARAU
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