PNG Bishops deplore termination of 2016 academic year

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands wants the university academic year to continue and has appealed to the Prime Minister to intervene.

On July 5 the University of Papua New Guinea Council (UPNG) made a decision to terminate the 2016 academic year.

The decision comes after more than six weeks of protest and boycotts over the prime ministership of Peter O’Neill.

The Bishops’ Conference recognises the difficulty of the situation.

However it thinks the UPNG has not looked into all possibilities in addressing the situation.

General Secretary of the conference Fr. Victor Roche said the closing the academic year and sending the students back home is a big financial loss to the students and the government.

Roche said if 5000 students go back to their villages and towns to do nothing for the rest of the year, there would be more likely social issues brewing over the recent issues and can go out of control.

The Bishops’ Conference is appealing to the University Councils and administration to seek the help of the Chaplaincies or the Conference itself to assist with a process of reconciliation.

It has also called for a proper inquiry into the whole situation by a neutral party for a peaceful solution and a way forward.

The UPNG Council also suspended of the Student Representative Council (SRC) and for ordered students to leave the campus by Saturday.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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