Back to classes, Minister’s plea to students

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The National, Friday March 7th, 2014

 HIGHER Education Minister Delilah Gore has renewed her appeal to students at the PNG University of Technology in Lae to respect the authorities who are trying to resolve their long-standing dispute.

She was supported by Office of Higher Education director David Kavanamur, Unitech chancellor Sir Nagora Bogan and acting vice-chancellor Prof John Pumwa.

Gore and Kavanamur travelled to Lae yesterday and met with Sir Nagora and Pumwa but waited for three hours for a meeting with student leaders. 

Gore told media conference later that they wanted the students, their parents and other stakeholders to realise that the Government was addressing the issue.

Gore again appealed to the students to stop their boycott and return to classes while matter was being resolved.

She added that they have met with members of the former university council and the previous administration as well as the new interim council and administration and other concerned parties.

“I appeal to the students as future leaders to go back to class, we are aware of the problem, the government is also aware of the legal implications so leave it to the government to solve this,” Gore said.

Kavanamur added: “The minister is keen for a long lasting solution and we have consulted three quarters of the concerned stakeholders.

“I appeal to students to have respect to political leaders, there are opportunities given to concerned parties to find solution,” Kavanamur said, and referring to the no show of the SRC executives, he said: “The door remains open.”

Sir Nagora Bogan described Gore’s action and commitment as “true leadership” and urged the students not to be stubborn in dealing with her.

“Her presence here indicates she cares and is committed to this issue and it is important for you students to prioritise your studies at the university, enrolling there is a privilege position which changes to a right when you are in school,” Sir Nagora said.

“The students must understand that this problem was never the doing of this current council and administration, it was done before us,” he said.

Sir Nagora said he has been in constant communication with Schram and said that Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato was aware of the situation.

“Unfortunately our government system is very slow, our foreign affairs minister is aware of it and we have to respect the system as it has its own processes,” he said.

“We have to handle the Sevua Report with some degree of respect of some of those implicated.”