UOG boycott enters 7th week

National, Normal


THE boycott of classes at the University of Goroka enters the seventh week today, with all parties anxious to get students back to classes.
The semester is in danger of being lost if students do not go back to classes soon.
Newly appointed acting Chancellor, Benias Sabumei is expected to address students and staff at the university today.
But national academic staff members insist that the fate of their academic year lies in the hands of vice-chancellor Dr Gairo Onagi and the two pro-vice-chancellors.
They must step aside and allow an investigation into operations at the university.
Students and members of National Academic Staff Association (NASA) at the University of Goroka want to see sidelining of Dr Onagi and pro-vice-chancellors Associate Prof Michael Mel (academic) and Dr James Yoko (administration) to step aside to pave for a caretaker administration to take over and facilitate an investigation into the administration.
“We want them to step out of office and the council set up an investigation team and appoint a caretaker administration and we want to see this in black and white before we return to class,” students representatives council (SRC) president Michael Benjamin and NASA Michael Waure maintained yesterday.
Mr Benjamin said Higher Education Minister Michael Ogio had directed for an appointment of a full council that comprised of no remnants of the interim council.
However, the three reportedly remain as members of the new council.
Mr Ogio met with the students representatives and NASA in Port Moresby last week and issued the direction and stated that a council would be formed by Friday last week.
Mr Benjamin said they had been boycotting classes for the past six weeks and this week would be the seventh, adding that they have gone as far as the ministerial level and will not take things lightly to ensure they achieve their goal.
Mr Sabumei, when contacted yesterday, said he would issue a press statement today after addressing students and staff.