The Real Struggle Behind Securing Space at Higher Institution in PNG

By Bilu Kasanda

I am proud to be a Divine Word University student after several attempts and rejections by other Universities in Papua New Guinea. It was in 2014 that I was given the challenge on how to see the importance of school life; viewed from different perspectives as a non-school leaver.

I graduated from Sogeri National High School with High GPA of 3 and as the SRC President then, I thought I would still make it to University. I applied to the University of Papua New Guinea for School of Business Admiration twice and got rejected. I applied to Kokopo Business College and rejected, Port Moresby Business College rejected.

As my friends are in the heed of schooling fever, I ended up on the street looking for schools. I then applied to Institute of Business Studies, but the fee was very high; a total of K24 000.00. I do not have that money as I come from a broken family.

I then applied, again to UPNG in 2015 but still the same with other private colleges to name few. Finally, someone that I will never forget in my life and a person who builds a bridge, an Indian guy, a man of honor, a parent, former principals of Sogeri NHS and a mentor to me Mr Benny Rayappan who is currently the Superintendent for National High and Secondary Schools working at Fincorp, Education Department.

Anyways, to make the story short, I was employed with the senior staff with Degree, Masters and some PhD holders with 30 plus years experience. Seeing them in work place made me felt like an “Idiot” and felt out of place but I never gave up. Instead, I prayed for all of them to at least give me the opportunity to discover who I really am by doing the office work. I started doing the cleaning, served as Tea-Boy and other general Clerical work. As time went by I served the Department at the national level by conducting Gr 11 selection across the country and got some little recognition.

The boss asked me to apply to further my studies and I told him “I am tired of applying as no good response and it will be a waste of time, I just want to work and live my life.” With a humble and kind heart, Mr Rayappan said, “Son give a last try and see, this time apply to Divine Word University.” With doubts in mind, I just applied for the sake of following orders.

In January 2016, I received a notification letter that I got accepted at DWU. The GESD and the Department helped contributed to pay my upfront fee as a self-sponsor student and now I am on HECAS.

Currently, I have a lot of responsibilities at DWU looking after Electoral Office, ESP Students Association Chairman, FASS Vice-President, Youth Against Corruption Secretary and other small groups.

I am looking forward to a better engagement with other professionals with the likeminded people to prove to the system of Education that we are not a failure but the system fails us. That failure is a bridge to discover what is hidden from you and never give up if you are a Non-School leaver who is wondering out there.

“Be an Inspiration to others”


Bilu Kasanda



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