I am Jubilee Nakou a 23 years old male raised in a family of four siblings. As the first born child in my family, I have been struggling with my education for the last ten years when my parents got divorced since 2008. My father got married with another woman and raised a new family while my mother had to look after me and my three other brothers alone. I didn’t have much support from my parents especially to cheer me up in my learning as both my parents only attended some primary education. At first I really faced difficulty in improving my academic performances and I struggled doing much independent learning and self-discipline. Nevertheless, as time passes I started to seek for advices and heeded many good counsels from friends who had similar experiences to mine. Though I had my career goals in mind, it was uncertain for me whether to make it up to a tertiary level of education, but I am grateful for the sacrifice of a mother who really committed her time to make sure my financial support is met.
I attended junior high school in my island of origin located in the southern province of Vanuatu. I was inspired by my sincere teachers to aim higher for secondary education at the best college in the country, and fortunately, after a full time of commitment in my studies, I was selected to study in Malapoa College located in the capital Port Vila in Shefa province. Since I had to leave home and board in school for the first time, my mother had to migrate to Port Vila with my other younger brothers, where she can look for employment opportunities to support me in my studies as well as my brothers’.
My first year of study at Malapoa college was very challenging as I participated among the brightest students in the country and I felt inferior in competition. However, as an average student, I made a mental vow to take up that challenge though the learning strategies and resources seemed very new to me. During the second year of my study as a year 12 student I was astonished that I was elected as a school prefect and a dormitory senior leader for the year. It was a great experience for me in having the opportunity to demonstrate leadership role at high school.
I was not very much talkative or vocal among other student leaders especially during meetings but I esteemed personal integrity in leadership role. That is what really left a remark of me as a student leader. I prefer private conversations with individuals more than a group discussion. As I listened to a student sharing his experiences, thoughts and raising the opinions of his concern, it helps me to understand him better as a leader. That is how I gain leadership strength in school, is by showing personal interest in respecting individual opinions and views therefore allowing them to draw conclusions of their interest before I can make any assumption or add comments from my view. In addition, after such discussions it helps me to make mental notes of the strength and weaknesses of every individual student as I think is essential to my leadership role particularly during quarrels or severe incidents between students.
There were many occasions were we had fights and quarrels between boys involving opposite sex relationships, stealing and bullying in school, and I really find myself useful in these situations. I learned that as I try to solve the problem in a gentle and brotherly manner the problem is solved peacefully with ease as I started to earn their respect. On the other hand, other student leaders who tried to get involved with a harsh response only make it worse when they over reacted. The more I find myself in the service of others, the more I gain strength to strive forward with my educational and social life. Moreover, it creates a lifelong relationship between me and other students as we graduated and left high school, we still have that morality of respect and dignity when we meet elsewhere in our societies.
We resided in a rural area near Port Vila and after graduating from high school, I had to miss two semesters of study in 2015 before getting enrolled at USP Emalus campus because my mother had to fix school fees for my brothers, and thus by chances of financial support I keep trying to progress academically with my studies.