How Thresha proved her dad wrong

From left: UOG Institute of distance & flexible learning Admin Officer Dende Waii, Maprik Study Center coordinator Thresha Dingu and Morobe study centre coordinator Helen Javienga.

WHEN her father berated her for not completing Grade 10, telling her she will end up in life as a baby-sitter, Thresha Dingu promised herself she will prove him wrong.
Now 41, the Maprik native has a teaching certificate, a diploma and degree and is running the Maprik Study Centre of the University of Goroka’s Institute of Distance and Flexible Learning.
An agreement was signed with the Maprik District Development Authority in November 2017 to make university education accessible to the people of Maprik in
East Sepik. It began operation in February, 2018.
It now has 106 students studying Diploma in Early Childhood, Business Accounting, Tourism and Hospitality, Business Management and Bachelor in School Management (in-service). A Certificate in Tertiary Admission course will begin next year.
Thresha was born to Elisabeth and Paul Dingu at the Maprik Hospital on May 27, 1980. She is the second eldest in a family of seven.
She completed Grade Six at Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School and Grade Eight at the Yarapos High School (now Mercy Secondary School.
She underwent an operation when she was in Grade 10. She did not pass her exams which disappointed her father who told her she would become a “baby sitter” to her cousins.
Those words motivated her. She registered with the College of Distance Education in Goroka but did not complete her studies. She did not give up.
She continued at the Commercial Training College in Lae where she graduated with a Certificate in Clerical Studies in 2000.
She did a three-month part-time job with the PNG Electricity Commission, and later was employed by Post PNG for five years.

Maprik study centre coordinator overcoming odds
Dingu (standing, fourth right) with other coordinators of UOG IDFL centres in the country.

She completed a Certificate in Tertiary Studies in 2007, and attended the Balob Teachers College for a two-year diploma in primary teacher (pre-service) training. Her first teaching stint was at Huonville Primary School in Lae. She was then transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School in 2011.
While teaching in Maprik, she decided to pursue an in-service diploma course at the PNG Education Institute.
She also completed a degree course at the University of Goroka through an external programme – the same one she is currently coordinating.
After graduating in 2018, she was appointed to coordinate the study centre. Thresha now has a supportive partner after nine years and continues what she loves doing.
She has just completed at the Divine Word University’s flexible learning centre a Master’s in Educational Leadership programme.
It is challenging for her as a single mother of one. But she continues contributing to human resource development in her district to assist those who cannot go to the university in Goroka.
The centre is supported financially by the university.
She keeps promoting the teacher training university and have reached out to students in Wewak, Oksapmin, Nuku, and Lumi in Sandaun, and Kiunga in Western.
Four pioneer Bachelor of Education in School Management students including an Assemblies of God pastor will be graduating this year.
Her advice to those who will leave school at the end of the year to always be positive in life and take on challenges positively.
She knows. And she has kept her promise to prove her father wrong.