UOG students set to withdraw from studies

National, Normal


MORE than 2,000 students at the University of Goroka are set to withdraw en-masse from studies today.
President of student representative council (SRC) Michael Benjamin said yesterday that more than 250 student withdrawal forms have been printed by student administrative.
He said Minister for Higher Education Michael Ogio had not been made available to receive their petition and Vice-Chancellor Dr Gairo Onagi refused to step aside to pave the way for a caretaker administration to establish a full university council.
“We do not want any remnant of the current administration to facilitate any formation of the council.
“We have exhausted all the options and the final resort is to go for mass withdrawal and this is what we are going for today,” Mr Benjamin said.
He said students in their respective provincial groups resolved to go for mass withdrawal, adding that members of the National Academic Staff Association (NASA) were also ready to resign en-masse.
Mr Benjamin said they did not want Dr Onagi to play any role in a new caretaker administration they want to set-up. They also did not want his two pro-vice-chancellors in it.
The students boycotted classes for the past four weeks demanding Mr Ogio to come and take their petition.
They refused to give the petition to director-general of the Office of Higher Education (OHE) Dr William Tagis when he arrived at UOG last Monday.
NASA members, in support of the students, last week petitioned the administration to step down.
In response, Dr Onagi said he would remain in office for only 14 days to facilitate for the establishment of a full council. Pro-Vice-Chancellors Associate Professor Michael Mel and Dr James Yoko stepped aside last Friday.
But this was rejected by both NASA and students as they maintained their call for the removal of Dr Onagi administration and a full council to be established.