Status of Kokopo Business College (KBC)
I wish to inform the General Public about the situation at the Kokopo Business College (KBC) and the decision which the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST) has taken.
It is reported that two local men were killed within the premise of KBC when a fight erupted between the staff and students of KBC and Ulagunan villagers. This fight may have been influenced by the tragic death of a staff of the Bank of South Pacific (BSP). Police investigation will establish the cause of the fight and appropriate actions will be taken.
The situation in Kokopo is still tense. Staff and students are in fear of their lives.
Based on the careful assessment of the situation and in consultation with all the stakeholders in particular, staff, students and Governing Council of KBC, Police and Provincial Government, the department has made the following decisions:
Semester 1 of 2022 is suspended indefinitely until such a time normalcy returns.
A caretaker administration will be installed to ease tension and restore normalcy at the college.
DHERST has commenced repatriation of students under the Tertiary Education Scholarship Assistance Scheme (TESAS) from the college back to their home provinces. For students under Non-TESAS category, respective provincial or district administrations are requested to assist with their repatriation back to their home province. Should Semester 2 resumes, the sponsors are requested to assist with their return flights back to KBC to continue their studies. TESAS students of KBC are advised to check the nearest Air Niugini office for their return tickets.
DHERST will be liaising with other colleges to accept KBC students who do not wish to continue studying at KBC. KBC staff who wish to transfer to other colleges must individually apply to the college of choice in order to be accepted. During this suspension period, staff of KBC will be on full pay.
These decisions are made to ensure normalcy is returned and that security of students is guaranteed and property of the State is protected. The Department is working closely with all stakeholders to ensure normalcy is returned as soon as practical for the academic year to continue without any form of disruption.
Hon. Wesley Raminai, MP
Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science & Technology