University Of Goroka Students Regrets

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Protests, To Apologize
Boycott ended with Minister dissolving academic year

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 23, 2015) – Students at the University of Goroka regret their actions that led to protests and want to return to classes to save the academic year which the Higher Education Ministry has dissolved.

The whole student body will present a letter of apology to Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Minister Malakai Tabar today when he arrives at Goroka for the swearing-in of an interim governing council of the university and officially open the national education conference.

Yesterday, the acting secretary for Higher Education Prof David Kavanamur said from Goroka, that some students returned to classes on Monday and will be handing a letter of apology to the minister when he arrives in Goroka.

The acting secretary said the students have responded positively. "They regret their actions," Prof Kavanamur said.

He said despite showing remorse for their boycott of classes for more than a month and refusal to return to classes as directed by the minister earlier and by a court order, the minister’s directive for the suspension of classes’ remains. Mr Kavanamur also said the Goroka university crisis was self inflicted and management and its governing council should have confronted the issue, addressed the concerns before it got out of hand.

"All parties should not expect the minister to come down to their level to address such issues," Prof Kavanamur said.

On that note he said that since taking office in 2012, as the director and the current department as acting secretary, he has done nothing but solve students’ protests one after another.

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