UPNG plans to resume academic year

The University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) will resume its 2016 academic year.

A UPNG staff, who did not want to be named, confirmed the information with Loop PNG today.

“I know that the school will start but when exactly I’m not sure. It hasn’t been confirmed yet,” the staff said.

Another academic revealed the existence of a proposed calendar.

“But it's still being deliberated upon so not confirmed yet.”

This will come as a relief for not only the 5000-plus UPNG students but their parents, guardians and UPNG staff as well.

At least nine UPNG temporary-fulltime tutors have confirmed with Loop PNG that they were taken off the payroll due to the termination of the academic year on July 5.

Most of them are married with families to take care of while others, like the students, were forced to return to their home province.

“We are now unemployed. We have to look for jobs elsewhere,” a staff said.

“Some tutors left their jobs, with better benefits, to come teach the students.”

The tutor claimed they were removed from the payroll with total disregard.

“Because we sacrificed for our students but now that we’ve been put off the payroll, we feel that there’s no point going back to teach.

“What’s the point of being loyal when your hard work is not appreciated?”

Attempts to get comments from the UPNG administration were unsuccessful.

UPNG’s academic year was terminated after eight weeks of missed classes due to boycott, protest and arson on campus.

(UPNG vice-chancellor Professor Albert Mellam being escorted by Uniforce personnel during the students’ boycott, which started on May 2.)

Carmella Gware