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Government receives investigation report into University of Goroka student unrest

The Government has received an independent investigation report into the student unrest at the University of Goroka in June this year.

Chairman of the Investigation Team, Lawrence Titimur, said the unrest came about as a result of students who were fed up with others who intimidated and prolonged the student protest over certain government decisions at that time.

He said one of the recommendations was for the UOG Administration to employ a professional security manager to train, equip and look after the needs of the security personnel of the UOG.

The 20-page report recommends for the UOG management to develop and put in place processes and procedures for students to air their views and grievances and is attended to appropriately.

It said the administration relied too much on the security guards when its staff was supposed to address such situations.

The report recommended that an aptitude test be done for all school leavers and non-school leavers who are applying for admission at UOG. No student should enter only with his or her GPAs.

“Every student that comes in from now on should be tested at the gate to ensure whether his or her results are genuine.

“It is time now we allow students who are genuine and interested in pursuing his or her studies at the University and those who are not should not be allowed in,” Titimur said.

It also recommended that student groupings be limited to provincial and ethnic groups for the promotion of cultural activities at the campus only and not politics.

It also recommended, amongst others, that the student’s welfare office must be manned by professionally qualified counselors as it is not the case now.

The report also called for the Royal PNG Constabulary to use its constitutional powers to intervene earlier and not wait for the vice-chancellors to invite them.

It said police should handle future student unrest as a law and order problem.

The Deputy Secretary for Economic & Infrastructure Sector & International Relations, with the Department of Prime Minister & NEC, Frank Aisi, received the report on behalf of Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari.

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