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By Sharon Engnui

Twenty-six-year old Imen Kamne Grual is one of the University of PNG graduates from the school of Natural and Physical Science, with a remarkable education journey. Graduating with Science Major in Mathematics and Statistics and Computer Science, Imen revealed that he had to juggle between work and studies to pay for his own school fees for what seems the whole duration of his tertiary education.

Imen hails from the mountainous parts of the Highlands Region particularly, Simbu Province. With the province known for its rugged terrains, he expressed that there were limited resources to capitalize on, prompting him to be more focused and determined to be self-reliant all throughout his tertiary education journey.

“Both my parents are simple people with no formal employment or education hence I had to juggle work and Studies.” The young men expressed.

Needless to say, Imen’s education journey was not an easy one. Despite not being able to make it through the formal education system in 2016, he continued pursuing his dreams. In 2017, he attended in the UPNG open campus to upgrade his marks, encouraged on by his elder brother who was doing his final year at the University at the time.

“When I came to Port Moresby I entered a new environment that brought in new challenges but I remained determined and upgraded my marks, especially in English.  In 2018 I was selected as an external student in Science Foundation which is a two-year program.” Imen reflected.

By 2019 he was selected to do Computer Science Mathematics and Statistics as a second year student through the formal system. During this time of his studies, he always searched for a job in order to keep him going.

His first job was with the CPL Group where he was engaged as a warehouse assistant, a job he highlighted as being very tough.

He was then engaged in a Printing Shop based in Four Mile and Vision City Overhead Bridge where they had adjusted well to his schedule to ensure he is not missing classes.

“When I did those jobs I was able to afford my own school fees, this had eased the burden off my parents.’ Imen said.

He noted that the only fees his parents had to pay was the fees for upgrading his marks in 2017.

Prior to achieving his Degree at the UPNG 69th Graduation Ceremony Mr. Grual had experience with four jobs, adding volume to his Curriculum Vitae (CV).

One of the Driving force behind Mr. Grual’s persistence to be self-reliant was of the fact that he had a lot of siblings and was concerned for his parents, struggling in the village.

“I have a lot of siblings and also I was worried about my parents. I know very well that they could not afford my fees. That drives me to be more self-reliant and to strive to be where I am today.” The young man expressed.

Throughout his studies, Mr. Grual has also taken up leadership roles in various associations within the University. This leadership quality has pushed Imen to also show support towards his fellow students from Simbu Province.

“My encouragement to young people out there, don’t live up to people’s expectations as if they are responsible for designing your journey. You have your own journey to pursue. There are many ways to excel, once you completed your Gr. 12 that means you’re matured and should start to be self-reliant.” He said.

“While you are studying take extra curriculum activities, try get part time jobs. This will add job experience value to your CV. If you cannot build your transcript you can build your CV.” Imen confidently added.

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