Rebel students threatening staff, says director

Even though the University of Papua New Guinea staff are on campus, as per the registrar’s circular on Sunday, lecture rooms are still empty.

Director of UPNG’s media unit James Robins told Loop PNG today that staff have been threatened by rebel students.

“Some students also want to attend classes but they have been intimidated,” he said.

Some have now resorted to emailing their assignments to their lecturers.

“All we need is normalcy to come back so everyone can be productive,” Robins told Loop.

“Lecturers and tutors are being paid but they haven’t been productive for the past two weeks. They’ve been here but students haven’t been.

“This is non-productive money down the drain.”

Robins was explaining registrar Jennifer Popat’s statement on Sunday.

The registrar had said the disruptions have resulted in millions of kina losses to the university and its stakeholders, including loss of learning time to students.

Apart from the university’s financial loss is the loss of brain time.

“That cannot be estimated,” said the media unit’s director.

The majority of students are refusing to go to class because their demands have not been met by the administration or the Government.

A member of UPNG’s student representative council told Loop: “We should’ve been given some form of platform to exercise our rights. This is a clear suppression of rights.

“We will not be distracted by anything, we will never retreat.”

The boycott started on Monday, May 2, and will continue for an indefinite period.

(Students standing around the main UPNG Waigani campus today.)

Carmella Gware