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Monday, 10 March 2014

Gore Flags Action Against Defiant Unitech Staff And Students - EM TV

My Comment on the Minister's Press Statement



This press statement is utterly confused. The position of the government remains unclear. First of all, UNITECH staff is not on strike. It would be unfair to punish them for something they did not do. The threatening tone of the statement however will be noted, and contributes little towards solving the stalemate.

Secondly, it is not the appointment of the Vice-Chancellor that is being negotiated with Council, staff and students, but his return to campus. Moreover, for a negotiation to take place, the Minister should meet UNITECH students, staff and principal stakeholders, including of course the Vice-Chancellor.

UNITECH has a regularly appointed, substantive Vice-Chancellor, and my position has been endorsed now several times by Council. Lately, Chancellor, Council, all UNITECH staff organisations and students have clearly endorsed his position.

I am humbled by all the efforts and energy from UNITECH community on my behalf. I am also grateful Gov. Naru spoke with students and staff, and is lending his good office to a mediation attempt to resolve the stalemate with the government.

The question before us today is this: do we want PNG University of Technology, or PNG University of Politics? If government is allowed to ignore Council's autonomy, appoint political cronies, and dismiss or deport those who are not politically convenient, UNITECH as an institution will perish.

The whole UNITECH community is asking the government to do the right thing, allow him to return, and give him his employment visa. By not doing so, the government apparently shows it does not respect Council autonomy, and rather dances to the tunes of some individuals who are pushing personal agendas.

In our 9 months active on campus, we have shown that together we can make UNITECH the best university of technology in the Pacific, and make it fly!


Original: Gore Flags Action Against Defiant Unitech Staff And Students - EM TV

APPROPRIATE disciplinary action will be taken on students and staff of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology who continue to defy orders to return to class.

Minister for Higher Education, Research Science and Technology Delilah Gore made these remarks in a news conference this afternoon in Port Moresby.

She says the position of the government is clear; they will not negotiate the appointment of a Vice Chancellor with the student body, and that the government respects autonomy of the University which is governed by its own Act.

She has appealed to all students to return to class.

The minister’s renewed calls follow a failed attempt to meet with the students last week.

The students and staff, refused to meet with the minister when she travelled to Lae, in a bid to end the boycott, and to convince the students and supportive faculty members to allow the government to discuss their concerns.

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