Assist students, staff told

The President of Divine Word University, Fr Jan Czuba has called on staff members to make every effort to ensure students take full responsibility of their studies and personal development.

He called deans, heads of departments and lecturers and tutors to make sure students attend lectures and carryout assigned tasks at all times.

The President made the call during his address at the opening of the Staff Resumption Week at the Sir Peter Barter Auditorium of the Madang campus on Tuesday 28th January, 2014.

Fr Czuba said it was incumbent upon DWU staff to assist students in every way possible so they are committed to their studies and graduate from the university as responsible citizens.

The President made the remarks in the context of the declining quality of Grade 12 leavers coming out of PNG’s ever-expanding secondary school system. Fr Czuba said the drop in quality was once again witnessed by selectors from DWU and other institutions of higher education during the selection round for school leavers late last year (2013).

Fr Czuba said students were entering the university with various weaknesses that must be addressed.

He said it was not good enough for a DWU staff to view a student as an adult who knows the right things to do because the reality is different.

“We can’t say it is up to the students to behave and meet academic requirements.

“It is our responsibility to assist them because they are coming with weaknesses from their secondary schools and communities,” Fr Czuba said.

“We are morally obliged to ensure students are properly groomed and educated at DWU.”

He said students are not “clients” but are part of the university community and all staff must ensure their welfare is prioritised.

Fr Czuba said the Office of Higher Education (OHE) has recently assigned DWU to lead the bachelor of primary education programs in the country while the University of Goroka would continue to take charge of secondary teacher education programs.

He said the OHE has given DWU an important responsibility and the University is committed to delivering high quality primary teacher education where graduates can become better primary teachers in the future so they can go out and help in producing better students.

Fr Czuba said to help in the delivery of quality primary teacher education programs the OLSH Kabaleo Teachers College in East New Britain Province is now an amalgamated campus of DWU and joins the St Benedict’s campus in East Sepik Province while Holy Trinity Teachers College in Western Highlands Province plans to do so in the near future.

The Staff Resumption Week program saw the DWU president, the vice presidents, deans and various section leaders addressing staff on plans and programs for the academic year ahead. The students arrived on campus throughout the week of Monday 27th January to Sunday 2nd February, 2014 to register on Monday 3rd February, 2014 and attend lectures thereafter.