PNG Gov Will Pay The 3.77M Promised To UPNG To Cover The Cost Of The Revised 2016 Academic Year

Agreement for the council to immediately rescind its decision to pass on costs to students by increasing student fees

By Malum Nalu

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, January 06, 2017) – Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari says the Government will pay the K12 million [US$3,774,000] it promised the University of PNG to cover the cost of the revised 2016 academic year.

He said there was no need for the university council to pass on this burden to students and their parents.

He as responding to the statement by Acting Chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann in The National yesterday that “operational cost for the extended academic year as a result of student protest will now be passed on to the students (by increasing their 2017 fees) because the Government did not release the funds as promised to cater for the cost incurred”.

Lupari said the funding issue was discussed at a meeting yesterday with Finance Secretary Dr Ken Ngangan, UPNG Vice-Chancellor Professor Albert Mellam and Higher Education Secretary Professor David Kavanamur.
“We assured them (UPNG) that the Government will fulfill its commitments to provide the required funding,” he said.

“As such, there is no need for the UPNG council to impose the burden on the students and their parents.”
He said the delay in allocating the K12m [US$3,774,000] to UPNG was because the 2016 public accounts was closed (in the second last week of December). It is expected to be re-opened next Monday.

“We have now identified savings which will be made available to the universities on an installment basis,” Lupari said.

“All parties have agreed for the council to immediately rescind its decision as the Government will provide the required funding.”

He has been assured by Mellam and Kavanamur that it would be recommended to the UPNG council to review its decision.

Lupari said Prime Minister Peter O’Neill had directed that it must take place immediately.
He said UPNG should have asked the Government about the reason for the delay before deciding to revise its fee structure.

“They have my contact addresses including my mobile number,” Lupari said.

“I don’t understand why they failed to contact me.

“They have created unnecessary anxiety for students and parents. This is not good enough.

“All administrators, including heads of Government agencies, must exercise greater sense of responsibility when we are confronted with administrative and policy issues.

“Going to the media only shows your own failure and lack of respect for the office we hold.”

The National
Copyright © 2017 The National Online. All Rights Reserved

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment