outback to jungle

Musings on experiences of volunteering in Papua New Guinea with some gratuitous domestic social and public comment

Monday, March 19, 2007

from the National 19th March 07

"More lecturers to leave Unitech. By PETER KORUGL.
MORE national lecturers plan to resign from their positions at the PNG University of Technology in Lae, Morobe province.The planned resignations are over the treatment their counterparts received in the current dispute between the council and the National Academic Staff Association (NASA).The National was told by several senior academics that some of those were experienced lecturers, including acting departmental heads.“I am going. I am just sorting out a few things before I go,” one acting head of department said over the weekend.Many of them were with the university for many years and were going into the private sector, joining a group of people who had resigned to go contest the elections.Those who resigned last year were served with eviction notices last Friday and the notices were expected to be served on NASA members who resigned en masse last week. Chancellor Philip Stagg told a student meeting at the height of the crisis that the council would recruit new staff to ensure classes started today.Sources said it would take the university at least four months to recruit new people to fill in the vacant positions.Classes at the university may start today – that is if national academics agree to get back into their jobs.NASA members were reviewing their position, with the option to reapply for reinstatement into their positions at the 13 academic departments.NASA last night said its members had met and looked at the details of the Memorandum of Agreement and it would put its position to the council that would lead to the signing of an agreement.“Certain details of the MoA are being looked into by the members. We have our lawyer here so he is going to meet with the members tonight,” caretaker president Loko Anota said.Lae police are on full alert and will move into the Taraka and Bulolo campuses should the continued stand-off between NASA and the council escalates into rampage by the students who felt victimised in the dispute and were frustrated because they were not in classes.There is calm but uneasiness at the university as the negotiations to end the dispute continue. "


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