Original: PM backs Minister's call to students | PNG online news | PNG real time news | PNG Edge
Joy Kisselpar on Fri, 03/14/2014 - 17:31
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has reinforced the stand by Higher Education Minister Delilah Gore that the University of Technology will shut down if students do not return to classes.
O’Neill told reporters that Minister Gore has laid out a way forward and the government will support her.
“I have stated very clearly when this issue first came up and that is to appoint an independent inquiry and we will respect the outcomes.”
O’Neill says despite calls by the students for Dr Albert Schram to be returned, the Sevua report does not clear Schram of all allegations, including his qualification.
“Schram was given an opportunity to appear before the inquiry, he travelled into the country and disrespected the inquiry and did not appear at the inquiry, instead he was doing his own business.
“Now you tell me that if he cannot respect a constituted inquiry that is going to help resolve some issues, and then who he is going to be responsible to. Now that is the problem we have, he is not fully cleared. . .”
O’Neill says the students are not right to demand or appoint vice chancellors and that the former council and the interim council are in court restricting the involvement of the government.
He says the National Executive Council will deliberate on the issue next week and if there is a need to shut down the school, they will.
“We want to educate people who want to learn and become better citizens, so they have to take it upon themselves. Return to class or we will take some decisions.” he said.
O’Neill says it is unfair on the parents and the government that is also paying for school fees and scholarships and other costs.
He said that a new council will be appointed and the position of the vice chancellor will be advertised.
He told reporters he will recommend to the new council to use an international firm to carry out the process of advertising and recruiting of the persons suitable for the position of the vice chancellor.
According to the Prime Minister this is the fairest way to put the issue to rest.