Uni students end 3-week boycott


STUDENTS at the PNG University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) in East New Britain returned to class yesterday after three weeks of boycott in protest against the university council.
This follows a visit to the campus by Department of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (DHERST) Secretary Fr Jan Czuba last Thursday.
Czuba and a team from department were at UNRE to see the situation and hear from the administration and students.
He told students that the decision whether to dissolve the university council would be conveyed by the Minister for Higher Education Pila Niningi based on the evidence and facts collected.
Czuba said he received their letter on Sept 8 and had responded immediately by urging them to return to class.
He was not pleased that students failed to follow his instruction.
“If you want to resolve conflict, we have to trust each other, and we have to be transparent and be responsible,” Czuba said.
“One-way traffic will not work.”
Czuba said he believed in democracy where students had the right to express their views, however, with this right came responsibility.
“If you decide to go on strike, you have freedom to do that and I support you, but you have to meet the costs,” he said.
“The Government will not meet the costs.”
Czuba told students that if they missed too many days of class, they would not meet the requirement of the national qualification framework that specified the number of hours students had to be in class.
“I’m not here to please anyone,” he said.
“I’m here to do what is required.
“Your strike will have no influence on the way I think and act.”