LOCAL students studying at University of Goroka (UOG) in the highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG) are currently seeking safety under the care of an university staff, who worked as a patron for Solomon students.
This was relayed to the paper via social media by the students’ patron, who is a Solomon Islander working at UOG.
He assured families and relatives that both Solomon and Vanuatu students are safe at his private residence, while waiting for any decision from the school management and the Solomon Island Government (SIG).
“The students are safe, but traumatised by the physical confrontation between the two groups of PNG students at the university’s campus.”
He said they are working closely with the Solomon Islands education attaché in PNG to ensure the students are safe during this time of the university’s upheaval.
UOG is one of the PNG government institutions that also experiencing conflict that resulted in some students being injured, as the tense situation at the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) in Port Moresby escalated.
Students’ demonstration was a move initiated within UPNG for students to protest for the PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to step down from his position, and face a number of fraud allegations laid against him.
The tension is still uncertain at this time as report of gun-fire and student clashes among themselves threaten the lives of international students and force the school to close down.
Meanwhile the former Education Minister and current Parliamentary Independent Leader Dr Derek Sikua has called on the government to repatriate all its sponsored students currently studying in PNG back to the country given the uncertainty of the situation.
By AATAI JOHN