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Gov't begins repatreation of students studying in PNG


OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION UNIT

MEDIA RELEASE 17-06-16-GH

GOV’T BEGINS REPATRIATION OF STUDENTS STUDYING IN PNG

The Solomon Islands Government is repatriating its students studying in Papua New Guinea due to the ongoing boycott of classes and other disturbances triggered by the PNG national students uprising in the last six weeks.

The repatriation process will begin on Saturday 18th June after a decision by officials from the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade and the High Commission Office in Port Moresby.

The situation in three Papua New Guinea universities (namely UPNG – Waigani and Taurama, University of Goroka and UNITECH) has been closely monitored for the safety of our students since the PNG National Students Uprising.

The decision to repatriate our students was made in view of the following reasons:

- There is increased pressure and concerns from parents and certain leaders about the safety of our students in PNG Institutions as a result of student uprising, despite assurances received from our High Commissioner and Education Attaché in Port Moresby and University authorities that our students are relatively safe. The MEHRD management and High Commissioner to PNG and Education Attaché based in Port Moresby have also been concerned about the safety of our students due to the PNG National Students Uprising.

- There is continued boycott of classes and disturbances caused by PNG national students in the university campuses, where our students are studying.

- Uncertainty over resumption of lectures/classes in the campuses to complete semester 1 academic programmes, as well as, uncertainty over the commencement of semester 2 in all campuses where boycott of classes and disturbances are continuing.

- Increased costs for keeping our students at the Ponderose hotel in Port Moresby, as they await possible resumption of classes. Students attending UPNG (Waigani and Taurama campuses) are being accommodated at the Ponderose hotel for their safety.

- To limit psychological effects the situation may have on the students. Reports received by NTU indicate that our female students, in particular have been traumatized, as a result of the PNG national students’ uprising and anxiety over not completing their courses taken in semester 1 and their general concern about their education.

- Students have not been engaged in any meaningful study for seven (7) weeks now.

Repatriation of our students will commence as of tomorrow - Saturday 18th June, for students from UPNG – Waigani and Taurama campuses, UNITECH – Lae and the University of Goroka.

Solomon Islands have a total of 127 students studying at the 3 PNG Universities.

ENDS

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