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May 6, 2021
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Catholic Bishops Conference Condemn Decision to Terminate UPNG 2016 Academic Year

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The Catholic Bishops Conference (CBC) has condemned the decision by the UPNG Council to terminate the 2016 academic year yesterday.

PNG and Solomon Islands General Secretary, Fr Victor Roche, said although it was a tough decision, more social trouble will brew from many unemployed students who are now also out of the classroom.

CBC is worried the present unrest will get out of control.

Fr Roche is appealing to Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, to come out publicly through the media and address the people of PNG about the present situation in order to regain public confidence.

He said the students have already lost confidence in the Prime Minister, and this situation has to be brought under control. The CBC is appealing again to university councils and administration to seek help from them towards reconciliation. They also want a neutral party to enquire into the situation to find a way forward, and to fast track other commissions of inquiry.

They, however, supported the Prime Minister’s call to intervene and save the academic year.

Fr Roche said the UPNG Council has not looked into all the possibilities before shutting down the academic year, as this is a financial loss to the parents and the government. Yesterday, the UPNG Council announced the termination of the academic year after students and staff continued to be intimidated.

Acting Chancellor, Dr. Nicholas Mann, said it had created a threatening environment that is not suitable for learning.

 

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