By ZACHERY PER
TEACHER Ishmael Kaupa decided to upgrade his qualifications in the noble profession because he had to keep up with the evolving standard of teaching and knowledge.
Ishmael, 35, is from the Kere tribe in Du village, Suai local level government, Sinasina-Yongumugl district, Chimbu.
He is the eldest in a family of three. His siblings are Emmanuel and Jaykay.
He started his education in the Kandep district of Enga when his father Mupe Kaupa was working there as a school inspector.
He went through grades one to six at Kandep Primary. He moved on to Kandep High before attending Wabag Secondary to completed grades 11 and 12.
Ishmael was accepted to pursue a primary school teacher training course at the Dauli Teachers College from 2006 to 2008.
His first posting was to Eastern Highlands in 2009 and taught at the Fimito Primary School outside Goroka town.
“ I had to put up with the situation because keeping a teaching job in the ever changing world of knowledge demands high qualifications.”
While at the school, he met his wife Monica who was also a teacher there. They now have children Bessy and Ambeekay.
Last year, the couple taught at the Hewe Primary School in Goroka but asked to be transferred when their home inside the school premises was burgled. They lose all their belongings.
Ishmael is now teaching at the Sioke Primary School in Lower Bena, while wife Monica is teaching at the East Goroka Primary.
They travel daily to work from their home in Asaro.
In 2018, Ishmael decided to pursue a Bachelor in Education degree at the University of Goroka to upgrade his qualifications.
“I had to put up with the situation because keeping a teaching job in the ever changing world of knowledge demands high qualifications. Teachers with only certificates are pushed out of the classrooms. Only those with diploma and degrees are allowed to teach in schools.”
Because he was working, Ishmael used the university’s distant flexible learning programme to do the programme. He wanted to major in school management.
He worked hard to complete the degree programme while teaching at school and looking after his young family.
Ishmael is relieved that he has finally obtained his Bachelor in Education degree majoring in school management.
He attended the graduation ceremony this year with more than 1,200 others who all were not in their traditional graduation gowns because of some problems related to the Covid-19. But he says the degree is more important than the gown.
Ishmael thanks wife Monica and his children for supporting him during the pursuit of his goal.
He also thanks his father Mupe Kaupa, David Kuipa and the principal of the Simbu Teachers College John Kaupa for encouraging and motivating him throughout.
He is happy to finally achieve what he wanted, knowing he had to work really hard to get it. But his pursuit of higher qualifications will not end there.
“I will pursue a Masters (degree programme) majoring in school management next. I (know how) to adapt to a tight study schedule. I am now more flexible.”