The administration of the University of Technology (Unitech) in Lae has refused to allow the destruction of the mess and recent unrest to stop it from achieving its goal of resuming the academic year.
While the destruction is evident, so too are the efforts being made to restore normalcy at Unitech.
Morobe Governor, Kelly Naru, was taken on a tour of the university grounds where he saw for himself container buildings that had been brought in as temporary mess facilities for the campus.
Vice Chancellor, Dr. Albert Schram, has refused to allow the events of recent weeks and calls for his sacking to dampen the spirits of the administration.
“All our efforts will be focused on rebuilding our facilities,” he said.
A little over two weeks ago a first year student, Graham Romanong, was killed in a brutal attack. Four buildings were burnt by a rampaging mob immediately after the killing; one of the buildings burnt was the mess. Its destruction effectively ended any immediate hope of a resumption of class within days.
The Morobe Governor didn’t waste time mincing his words when he issued a strong call to the political leaders of Enga and Southern Highlands – whose students were at the center of the feud.
“I am making a call to the political heads of Enga and Southern Hgihlands,” Naru said.
“Your kids caused this mess. You have to contribute to help rebuild this place.”
Since the beginning, Unitech took a different approach to resolving the crisis. The administration facilitated a referendum conduced by the electoral commission.
With assistance from the police, it allowed for awareness forums in Lae City and other provinces to take place.
As UPNG students take in the news of the suspension of the academic year, Unitech is determined to restart the second semester with a temporary mess facility.