PNG Govt wants students back in class

3:31 pm on 2 August 2016

The Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, says efforts are being made to have classes resume at the University of Papua New Guinea.

The remains of a building after it was set alight during violent clashes at the University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea.

The remains of a building after it was set alight during violent clashes at the University of Technology in Lae, Papua New Guinea. Photo: Supplied / Albert Schram

The management of the UPNG announced a month ago it was suspending the academic year after weeks of often violent student protests in which students had been boycotting classes to encourage Mr O'Neill to step down and face fraud allegations.

The prime minister said most of the student body wants to complete the year but the decision had been taken way from them by agitators with political agendas.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill gives a talk at the Lowy Institute in Sydney on May 14, 2015.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill gives a talk at the Lowy Institute in Sydney on May 14, 2015. Photo: AFP/Peter Parks

He said students need to get back to class, and to have every chance of completing their studies for the year.

There are still a number of details to be resolved, but if all parties come to the table with the right attitude the government is committed to resuming the academic year at the UPNG said Mr O'Neill.

He said the knock-on effect of ending the year early is costly for families, causes problems for current and future students and for those parts of economy expecting to employ new graduates.

Mr O'Neill also warned foreign media not to interfere with discussions underway and to respect the desire of stakeholders in PNG to return students to class.

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