Petty politics can jeopardise academic year: Opposition

The Opposition has called on the Prime Minister to immediately intervene into the UPNG issue and establish complete normalcy prior to the start of the 2019 academic year this week.

Deputy Opposition Leader Timothy Masiu has described the decision by Minister for High Education, Science & Technology, Pila Niningi, to suspend the University Council and the acting Vice Chancellor, as an act of sabotage at the country’s highest learning institution.

He said the country’s top cream of students enter UPNG as one of the highest learning institution of the land and their studies cannot be jeopardised by petty politics of individuals.

The deputy Opposition leader said the reasons and subsequent actions by the Minister also pose a serious threat to the reputation and credibility of the academic staff, who are distinguished men and women in the world of academia.

He urged the Prime Minister to revoke the minister’s decision, and failure to do so would only render UPNG to unforeseen situations that may jeopardise the academic year.

Following the suspension of UPNG’s Vice Chancellor, Dr Nicholas Mann, the registrar, Dr Peter Petsul, was also suspended by Interim Council Chancellor Jeffery Kennedy on 11 February for 14 days.

Masiu added that such a swift move by Minister Niningi is an interesting development and deserves closer scrutiny.

Classes for the 2019 academic year start this week.

Sally Pokiton