HERST minister calls for UPNG students to resume classes

By on May 10, 2016

HERST Minister, Hon. Malakai Tabar

Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology (HERST) Minister, Hon. Malakai Tabar, is calling for boycotting students at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) and the SRC president to “respect the wishes of the majority of students to return to class forthwith rather than hold out for future ransom.”

In a statement published in the local dailies and the DHERST website, Minister Tabar said that not resuming classes would amount “academic suicide” for all the students because the academic period where students are allowed to withdraw has lapsed and a continued boycott could result in a fail for all students.

Minster Tabar also said the he received advice from the university management that the class boycott did not comply with the SRC constitution and hence is deemed illegal. He stated:

The UPNG SRC constitution (section 44) requires that a referendum be held under the supervision of the Electoral Commission. A notice of 14 days is required. Only registered students are allowed to vote as vetted by the Registrar. The outcome is decided by two thirds majority. Any other process outside of the rule of law would be deemed illegal.

According to the statement, students failing four to five courses will automatically be excluded for enrolment for more than two semesters. If this happens then the university will, for the second time in its history, be enrolling only freshmen next year.


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