Failing in National Exams is Not the Measure of Intelligence - A Grade 12 Dropout Completes University with Distinctions


Inspirations by Joshua Mark, 

Hello friends! I’m Joshua Mark from Pumakos Village of Tsak Valley in Enga Province, Papua New Guinea . I’m 25 and single. Six years ago (2015), I failed Gr. 12 and stayed home. All sorts of ideas popped up in my mind—whether to take illicit drug (marijuana), go to Port Moresby or Lae and become a street vendor, commit suicide and so forth. It seemed it was the end of my education. Even my own neighbouring families started criticising me for my failure. They gossiped a lot about it. Nobody even felt like giving a plate of food as they used to do when I was a student. I was afraid to meet and greet my very once class mates who made it to universities and colleges when they came for their semester breaks. Despite all those, I took them as challenges and put my trust in God that one day my dream would become reality.

Joshua Mark
Failing in National Exams is Not the Measure of Intelligence - A Grade 12 Dropout Completes University with Distinctions 

I humbly thank God that I was somehow selected to the University of Goroka to study Bachelor of Education in English in 2017. I worked very hard in my studies and completed my studies last year (2020). There were two reasons why I studied hard and gave my best:

●To be under the Government sponsors to ease my poor parents' suffering.

●To prove wrong the stereotypical saying of the people of Enga: "The Engan students are good in Science and Mathematics, but they are very poor in English!"

On 29th of June this year (2021), UoG hosted its graduation and I was given the dux award on merit for being the top performing student in English Language & Literature as well as in the discipline of Linguistics.

Currently, I’m editing and translating books from English to Tok Pisin and Enga versions for the Bilum Books Publishing Company, PNG Language Services and few other international NGOs. So my dream of becoming a linguist has finally come true. I’m also teaching Language & Literature to the secondary school students. And I hope to go for my further studies soon if God permits. It’s a very long story, but I’m just shortening. 

Dear friends, I'm not saying all these to get glory! This is not something to boast about. I humble and bring myself down down down to the very base level before God and may HIS NAME be glorified and lifted for this because all knowledge and wisdom spring from HIM. My achievements and knowledge are useless and 'pipia' without him. I’m just sharing my story just in case some young dropouts are wandering around like what I did 6 years back. This is to inspire you if you read this. 

Please stay overcome and NEVER pay attention to those who give negative comments. You will find yourself as an outcast when others or even your own immediate family members criticize and look down on you just because of your failure. Trust me! Sometimes, even your own parents will give you all sorts of nicknames figuratively to at least refer to your failure. You will feel like you have no hope. You will come to realize yourself as nobody in the midst of an unfair world.

But NEVER GIVE UP on your DREAM. Failing in the National Exams doesn’t mean you are an ‘empty drum’ because God did not create anyone junk nor to be poor. If your Plan A fails, try Plan B and C. You have many options in life. NEVER make shortcut decisions just because of your failure. Take it as a stepping stone and keep on moving. When an opportunity knocks on your door, stay focused and work hard towards it because there are no spaces available for the lazy people in this competitive world. And always accept with a thankful heart whatever your parents offer you because you may never know how much suffering they are going through just because of you and your education. And finally, always TRUST and FEAR God. 

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding" ~Proverbs 9:10

…………………Stay Blessed, Never Give Up

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