University of Goroka dismisses reports of excluded students
The University of Goroka in PNG says media reports that up to 400 students have been excluded from the institution are wrong.
The acting vice chancellor at Papua New Guinea's University of Goroka says media reports that up to 400 students have been excluded from the institution are wrong.
Student groups are claiming the students have been targeted because of their involvement in protests at the university earlier this year.
In April, students presented a 51-point ultimatum to the university and the acting vice chancellor, Dr James Yoko, says they are working through these concerns.
He told Don Wiseman claims the excluded students included the former protesters are wrong.
JAMES YOKO: As far as we are concerned, there were 100 students that didn't do well in the final assessment or the end of the Semester 1 assessment. Under the normal practises, they are excluded for a semester or two semesters, depending on the number of fails that the students have received. So that information, which was reported, is inaccurate.
DON WISEMAN: How many people involved with that?
JAMES YOKO: About 100 students who have not done well in the first semester.
DON WISEMAN: And they are welcome back after a semester or two.
JAMES YOKO: That's correct. Depending on the number of fails. If it is three fails, then you stay away and then come back after a semester or two semesters or three semesters, depending on the number of fails.
DON WISEMAN: Now, there have been a lot of protests, though, haven't there? And there have been questions raised that some of these people were dumped because they were protesting?
JAMES YOKO: Again, that is not correct, because those students who were involved in the strike in March or April, those students are going through the disciplinary process.
DON WISEMAN: Meaning...?
JAMES YOKO: Meaning that they will go through the process of discipline and if they are implicated and found that they were guilty of the offences then they will be either terminated or readmitted back into the classroom.
DON WISEMAN: The bigger issues, I guess, are the reasons these people were protesting back in March and April, and they put before you a 51-point plan. Among those were a call for the vice chancellor to go. Obviously, he hasn't. What about some of the other points on that plan, have they been remedied?
JAMES YOKO: Yes, basically they were talking about the establishment of the SRC?
DON WISEMAN: Can you explain that, the 'SRC'?
JAMES YOKO: The SRC - Student Representative Council. They said they wanted SRC to be maintained, so therefore now there is a review going on. We have engaged a lawyer to look at the student governance, and he will come up with the way the students want to see the SRC functioning. The students want that reimbursement of the amount of money they pay for their school fees, and for a service fee we take 25%. Now that has to be reduced. So we have reduced that down to 10%. There's been a power blackout, but we have now rectified the problem of the power supply. So those administrative matters are being addressed.
DON WISEMAN: How many students at the university?
JAMES YOKO: There's approximately 2,000 students.
DON WISEMAN: And what's the mood like among them, the ones remaining?
JAMES YOKO: Most of the students want to go back and complete their education. At the end of the day they want quality education. So, therefore, we keep on insisting that we must provide that quality education, and the students must work hard to measure up to our expectations.
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