Unwise to stop classes, church says

The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

THE Catholic Bishops Conference says the decision by the University of Papua New Guinea to close for the year is unwise and expensive.
Conference of PNG and Solomon Islands general-secretary Father Victor Roche said in Port Moresby closing down the university would cost millions of kina to the taxpayers and the students.
“Around 5000 students will be going back to their own villages and communities doing nothing, but brewing trouble,” he said.
“The university administration has not looked into the other possibilities. It has not explored other avenues to keep the university going. It is not a wise decision.”
Roche said more than 200 university staff would be doing nothing, while getting paid for the rest of the year.
“It is a big financial loss,” Roche said. “There will also be loss of confidence in the academic system of the country and the situation will be surely out of control.”
Roche said the conference had urged the prime minister to address the people to bring back that confidence.
“The students have lost their confidence, especially in the State universities which have almost 15,000 students,” he said.
He said the bishops had offered to conduct a mediation or reconciliation exercise between the students and the university heads.
“There should be a natural party to enquire into all these troubles. It is good that we come up with some good solutions.”