UPNG terminates academic year

THE University of Papua New Guinea’s council has decided to terminate teaching for the remainder of the year following the boycott of classes and the subsequent violence which flowed from student unrest.
UPNG terminates academic year UPNG terminates academic year UPNG terminates academic year UPNG terminates academic year UPNG terminates academic year

Acting university chancellor Nicholas Mann said that the organisers of the protest had broken the law.

"The rule of law has been replaced by mob rule, intimidation, harassment and violence," he said.

"The learning environment has been turned into a tribal war zone with painted faces, war cries and knife-wielding persons."

The student demonstrations centred on allegations of corruption and economic mismanagement of the country's finances by Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.

The closure of the university comes after five-weeks of protest over the last two months by UPNG students, which culminated with the destruction of university infrastructure and compelled the Government to declare a curfew at the Waigani campus.

Mann announced the decision of the council yesterday and indicated that it was based on the recommendations of the academic senate. The academic senate comprises the deans of all the university's different faculties.

At all the recent meetings of the UPNG council, the continuing intimidation and harassment of students and staff continued to be raised as a concern, pngfacts.com reported. Consequently, the decision has now been made to terminate the 2016 teaching and learning activities at the university with immediate effect.

Dr Mann said other academic activities like research, post-graduate supervision, community outreach and administrative functions would not be affected by the council's decision. Activities of the Students' Representative Council would also cease to have any legal standing for the rest of the year, he added.

Most of UPNG's 5000 students have already left campus and the remainder were expected to leave over the next few days.

It is not known if the University of Technology in Lae will also terminate its academic year, following the killing of a Southern Highlands student two weeks ago which forced the evacuation of students from other parts of the country.


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