DROPPING out of school is not the end of the road in one’s education pursuits because there are other roads one can follow. Ask Johnson Umbu Iki.
Johnson, 25, is from Talyokos village in Wapenamanda, Enga.
“There is no such thing as the end of the road in education. If you have faith and trust yourself to do something, you will achieve it.”
After Grade 12 at Wabag Secondary in 2009, he was not offered a place at the University of PNG because of his low Grade Point Average.
In 2010 and 2011, he played rugby league while upgrading his Grade 12 marks at the UPNG Open Campus.
In 2012, he was accepted by the School of Business to enroll as a second-year student. He pursued a Bachelor in Business Management degree from 2010 to 2017 and graduated in April, 2018.
He thanked his rugby mates who helped him achieve success.
“We shared food, rooms, clothes, text books, stationaries and other essential needs at the university. Sports especially rugby league trains your mental fitness. During my studies, I continued to participate in UPNG rugby league competition which really molded me mentally and physically.”
Johnson is today working at the Treasury Department’s budget section.
“I’m happy that my dad George Umbu Iki and mum Miniem Iki invested a lot in my education. Without them, I would not have achieved my dreams. My success in education is the pride of my province, district, community and tribe.
“I had faith and trusted myself to get a degree from the university and I did it. The education system rejected me to study at the UPNG. But I managed to complete a degree in Business Economics.
“I felt hopeless after seeing many of my classmates being accepted by various universities. But my dream to become an economist never waned. I was determined to complete tertiary education.”
“ I had a faith and trusted myself to get a degree from the university and I did it.
Johnson played rugby league while in primary school at Pogera. He captained the Under-19 highlands zone squad during a meet in Goroka in 2006 and 2007.
He continued to play rugby league while attending Wabag Secondary school in 2008 and 2009.
In 2011, he was selected to play for the Enga Mioks in the Digicel Cup competition. But he had to withdraw because of his studies at the UPNG Open Campus.
Looking back, Johnson believes that education is the key to success in life.
“Education only ends when people die. As long as you are breathing, education can take you around the world, even if you are 60 or 80 years old.
“There are amazing education opportunities available that will help you take the next step. I want to be a team player, drive changes, solve conflicts, motivate individuals, promote transparency and fairness and uphold Christian principles.”
His word of advice to young people is to shun negativity and ignore people who say negative things in life.
“It’s your life. Stay positive, listen to your heart and keep on moving. Everything will fall in line.”
- Story and pictures supplied