UPNG SRC to decide on boycott by end of the week

The decision on whether students at the University of Papua New Guinea will continue boycotting classes will be made by the end of the week.

The university council lifted the indefinite suspension of classes for students to resume semester one on June 13 at the Waigani campus and June 6 at the Taurama campus.

UPNG Student Representative Council president Kenneth Rapa says they’re now waiting for students to return to campus to decide their course of action.

Rapa explained that they will seek the majority of the students’ advice and views and whatever they decide, the SRC is only there to facilitate their interest.

Rapa said: “If majority of the students decide to go back to class then they will go back.”

He said most of the minority groups who want to go back to class have not been actively participating in what they’ve been doing.

“As a student leader I understand that if they come to me personally to express themselves I would consider their views and discuss what they want.

“But most of the time they’ve been going to the media rather than coming to me personally.

“For me as a leader, I am not only a leader to the majority but the minority as well and to this day, no student from the minority groups has come to me to give his or her view.

“We will only consider and discuss their views but the decision will come from the majority’s view,” Rapa said.

He encouraged the minority who want to go back to class to come out and give their views.

Rapa added that the student leaders at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences assured the SRC that they’re standing on this course, together with the main campus and the PNG University of Technology and University of Goroka, until the Prime Minister steps down.

The student leaders discussed with the SRC stating that they will not resume class if what they’re fighting for has not been attained because they’ve come this far and they can’t back down easily.

Meantime, UPNG acting chancellor Dr Nicholas Mann has urged students to avoid situations that will lead to another suspension, as they will do more damage to their academic year if they continue to boycott.

Quintina Naime