By Glen Burua

I was a slow learner in class. Getting poor grades was normal. I was ready to give up.

So many students in primary and secondary school also face similar challenges. Being a slow learner and getting very low grades causes a lot of young people to doubt their future.

For me, I had all the reasons at my disposal to just give up. One of the many reasons was the tribal fights that happen in my village between my tribe and other tribes. Whenever tribal fights happen, sadly many government services stop operating. And school is one of them.

The struggle to be educated especially in remote areas of our country is real. Apart from issues remote schools face, there are other threats imposed upon a lot of students by fights between villages.

As the problems continued to affect my studies, I felt useless that I started following my peers around drinking alcohol.

However, it didn’t take long before I realized I was messing up my own life.

I decided to leave my peers behind and go back to school.

Sometimes my school had to close for a term due to fights between tribes. Despite those hiccups, and my personal struggle to understand what I was taught in the classroom, I was not ready to give up. Even at times, I would cry myself to sleep because the challenges seemed too much to take.

I wore broken clothes to school. This is because of the financial problems my family was going through. Seeing my broken and baggy clothes, peers and even other students would laugh at me.

Not every student comes from a privileged family. However, it is not where you came from that really matters but where you are going.

This is the story of Jack Irame.

“What is your advice to others who might be facing similar challenges?” I asked him.

“My advice is to have faith in God despite your painful experiences. Remember, God has a plan for your life and you are not a mistake on this planet. On the same token, have a positive mindset even in the midst of painful challenges.
Always tell yourself “I can” instead of “I can’t”.
“I will” instead of “I won’t,” he answered.

This year Jack graduated from Divine Word University with a degree in Business and Accountancy and is employed by the Department of Lands and Physical Planning.

We may not go back and make a brand new beginning but we can start now and make a brand new ending.

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