Education Minister Kuman unhappy with termination of UPNG academic year

Education Minister Nick Kuman is unhappy with the decision of the University of Papua New Guinea Academic Senate to terminate its 2016 academic year and hopes the decision can be revisited.

This means there will be no school this year and continuing students will have to re-apply to complete their year courses in 2017.  

“The senate decision will also have an impact on the number of spaces available for this year grade 12 students who would apply for spacing at UPNG in 2017,” a frustrated minister said.

 “I hope the council will take heed of those, and may be going through some consultative process and I am requesting that they reconsider their decision, especially UPNG so we can save the 2016 school year. 

 “As the minister for education I will fight to the nail at the cabinet level to ensure that UPNG must allow students to continue, if it means that you have to go (school) right through to December and January next year you must (do it),” Kuman said.

Following the announcement yesterday, UPNG vice chancellor Professor Albert Mellam said the university senate is putting in place a structure to accommodate the 2016 first year’s students and the new intakes.

“It will have some consequence because of the load and the capacity of the different schools to address the first year students.

“The Grade 12 students cannot be penalised so the university will look for a pathway that is inclusive and accommodative of the first year students coming into the university in 2017,” Prof Mellam said.

The decision was reached by the UPNG academic senate following over two months of boycotting of classes by students and university properties burned and damaged by a small fraction.

Also over 20 students were injured by police when they attempted to march to Parliament with four admitted with bullet inflicted wounds.        

Charles Yapumi