Universities must save 2016 academic year: Prof Kavanamur

The Government department responsible for all higher learning institutions in the country is calling on dialogue between boycotting students and its school administrations to save the 2016 academic year.

The Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST) secretary Professor David Kavanamur said: “Our main agenda is to immediately salvage the academic year. Closing down the 2016 academic year should not be an option for the country.

“Currently, the rolling boycott has spanned six weeks of useful learning hours and I would like to call for restraint by all concerned parties.

“This is not the time to apportion blame, but it is time for understanding and reconciliation.

“DHERST would also like to plead with student provincial groups of UPNG, PNGUOT and UOG to encourage students to return to class and complete the academic year.

“DHERST encourages respective university management teams to exercise empathy and flexibility to their student bodies. Senior academic and non-academic staff are encouraged to facilitate the re-entry of students into academic mode,” Prof Kavanamur said.

He added that Higher Education Minister Malakai Tabar is committed to ensuring the conclusion of the 2016 academic calendar.

DHERST is now fostering a process of reconciliation, commencing with the UPNG to ensure that PNG’s collective national interest is secured. 

Charles Yapumi