THERE is so much confusion, uncertainty and frustration over the so-called ‘Premier University of the South Pacific’, otherwise known as University of Papua New Guinea.
The current strike led by National Academic Staff Association (Nasa) is causing a lot of inconvenience and will get worse if it is allowed to go on for another week.
At present, lectures are being helnd only on an adhoc basis, which means some members of Nasa are not attending to their responsibilities. On the other hand there are other staff members who are not members of Nasa and are continuing to work.
In addition, important departments at the university such as the Library, Bookshop, Information Technology and other basic services have all grinded to a halt.
The Waigani campus seems to be full of annoying students aimlessly sitting idle while others roam the campus.
The absence of the Student Representative Council (SRC) has removed from the students
their ability to collectively voice their concerns about the
situation that is affecting their education.
The interim UPNG Council has described the action taken by Nasa as illegal, however, Nasa is claiming that there is no fairness and transparency in the actions and decisions made by Minister for DHESRT Pila Niningi in the appointment of Jeffrey Kennedy as chancellor and subsequent establishment of the interim UPNG Council.
The result, we have seen, is the sacking of acting chancellor Nicholas Mann, acting vice-chancellor Vincent Malaibe and registrar Dr Peter Petsul.
Nasa has also provided adequate reasons to support the actions it is taking, but it
is very sad that the students have found themselves sandwiched between the two conflicting parties and unable to do anything.
It is therefore imperative that the prime minister or other authorities concerned step in to resolve the issue.
In the meantime, the students should adhere and abide by the rules of the university and maintain discipline and respect at all times before normalcy is restored.
LLB 3 UPNG