By ZACHERY PER
UNIVERSITY of Goroka Vice-Chancellor Dr Gairo Onagi has refused to step aside when student leaders approached him yesterday.
Dr Onagi was in the company of his two pro-vice-chancellors Dr James Yoko (administration) and Associate Professor Michael Mel (academic). Also with them was Eastern Highlands provincial police commander Chief Supt Augustine Wampe and his policemen.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) executives and the presidents of 19 provincial groups were all armed with their completed student withdrawal forms.
The students, and members of the National Academic Staff Association (NASA), had boycotted classes for over a number of days now, demanding that Dr Onagi and his pro-vice-chancellors step aside and allow for a caretaker administration to function and establish a full university council.
Deans from the faculties of education, humanities and sciences had also refused to sign the students’ withdrawal forms because they believed the mass withdrawal from studies was not in line with the university by-laws and regulations.
The students also questioned why no funds were allocated to the SRC when each student had paid a compulsory K38 fee at registration.
Soon after the meeting, students started contributing money to fly their SRC executives to Port Moresby this week to petition Higher Education Minister Michael Ogio.
The students need more than K3,600 and have already raised K661.10.
They plan to host a wheelbarrow push around Goroka town today to raise more money.
The contents of the students’ petition are still not known.
Students filled out their withdrawal forms on Monday while NASA members also resolved for an en masse resignation.
A National Court presiding over the order obtained by the university administration to restrain students from boycotting classes will be heard on Friday.