Father of two gets a second chance to chase his dream

Youth & Careers

PHILIP Gombi’s dream to study mechanical engineering at the University of Technology 14 years ago crashed when no tertiary institution accepted him.
Now the man from Tufi in Northern is studying diesel and heavy equipment fitting at the Mal Training and Consultancy Centre, a technical institution established at Banz, in Jiwaka, to give school dropouts a second chance.
Gombi completed grade 12 at Popondetta Secondary School in 2004 and failed to gain entry into any tertiary institution the year after.
“I was a science student. My aim was to study mechanical engineering at the University of Technology in Lae,” he said.
“So the first choice was Unitech, then Don Bosco Technological Institute in Port Moresby and a teachers college.
“Unfortunately, I did not meet the criteria set by the institutions.”
He returned home, got married and had two children.
He sold betel nut and cigarettes at Isiviri station in Popondetta town to provide for his family.
Last year, a friend named Job Asiri, from Popondetta, now doing his practical with PNG Power, told Gombi about the Mal institution. Gombi called principal Philip Malye and he was given a place.
“Malye did not hesitate and welcomed me,” he said.
“I was very happy. My elder brother who is a teacher in Lae sponsored my boat trip to Lae, my transport up to Jiwaka, and paid my school fees. The course I’m doing is only for six months. I’ll graduate in November with a certificate in diesel and heavy equipment fittings. This is related to my interest in mechanical engineering.”
Gombi said Mal had taught him so much and prepared him for a job after graduation.
“We have a very highly qualified principal with a very down to earth character,” he said.
“He is very humble and has the heart to serve the underprivileged youths and school dropouts who are roaming the streets without hope.”
Gombi’s plans to apply for a job in Popondetta.

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