By ELLEN TIAMU
THE Office of Higher Education has advised the University of Technology’s council and administration that termination of the academic year is not an option.
OHE director general William Tagis said in a directive to Unitech that it would not consider all continuing second, third and fourth year students under the TESAS scholarship next year if the this academic year was not concluded.
The ultimatum would affect 1,915 students studying in various disciplines at the Taraka campus in Lae.
The university council, on recommendation of the academic board, had called for the reconvening of classes starting on Thursday.
The events of the past five weeks emanated from an ethnic dispute between Chimbu and East and West Sepik students causing disruption in the second semester studies with only five weeks to go.
Sepik students had agreed to return to classes tomorrow as per the university council’s decision.
In a brief statement yesterday, they encouraged other students to return to lectures in line with the university council’s decision.
“We appeal to other innocent fellow students attending PNG University of Technology to attend lectures on Sept 30,” the statement read.
Local students, the Morobeans, in a strongly worded statement, wanted classes to resume immediately.
They said their studies had been “unnecessarily hampered” and others wanted lectures to resume.
They said money that was intended to be used for other developmental works in the province was spent on their education by the provincial administration and they want to make good use.
The students said they would take all necessary steps to resume the academic calendar.