19 Jul 2005

Still no solution in dispute over teaching at PNG University

9:41 am on 19 July 2005

The Papua New Guinea Government yesterday became more involved in a row that has threatened to close down the country's main tertiary institution, the University of PNG.

For a week students have been staying away from classes in a protest over the grading system and their dissatisfaction with senior staff.

They have also staged sometimes violent demonstrations.

They have called for vice chancellor Les Eastcott and other senior staff to resign or for them to be sacked, while the UPNG threatens to end the academic year early if the students continue to stay away from classes.

The Higher Education minister Brian Pulayasi, who last week promised to investigate the grading system, yesterday told students he could not interfere in staffing because the University Act doesn't allow it.

The minister has agreed to meet with the students again today to listen further to their concerns.

Meanwhile a student representative says they may take legal action over the matter.