Student Boycott Continues at Lae’s Polytechnic Institute

By Edwin Fidelis – EM TV, Lae

Students at Lae’s Polytechnic Institute have continued their boycott of classes after the administration failed to convince them to resume classes today.

The administration made a commitment of K300, 000 towards fixing the rundown facilities, when responding to their petition presented on Monday. But student leaders say, they won’t go back to class until they see work being carried out on the old buildings. 

Today marks a week since the boycott at Lae’s Polytechnic institute began. On Monday this week, students mobilised and presented a petition to the administration.

The petition contains demands to renovate the old buildings, and build new ones.

A committee was convened after the petition was presented, and over the last 48 hours, they have discussed ways to address the students’ plight.  

This morning, they responded to the petition.

The committee, headed by the institute director, made a commitment of 300 thousand kina to ease the boycott, and to allow for students to resume classes while they allocate a contractor to do the maintenance work.

But the response that came from the student body this morning was defiant. The administration has come under fire by the students, over the last three months, for not responding to queries they raised over their living and learning conditions.  

The Institute Director, Graham Bidang, says moves have already been taken to address their concerns raised in the petition.

The boycott has now dragged into its fifth day with no break through made.

The student body says they will maintain their stand: “no change, no school.”

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