Simbu Campus Graduates Encouraged

Simbu Campus Graduates Encouraged

In an era where thousands of students graduate from secondary schools, colleges, and universities every year, Managing Director of Kongo Coffee Mr. Jerry Kapka says “self-employment is important”.

He made these remarks while addressing graduates at the PNG University of Technology’s Simbu Satellite Campus’ 4th Graduation on Friday, the 26th of April.

Mr. Kapka told the graduates that they were privileged to be given a university education in the province, and now that they have been conferred their diplomas, there are three pathways available for them to take. “What’s the way forward? Formal employment, create employment for yourself, or pursue further studies?… I’m here to tell you that self-employment is important. You have what it takes. You are in your productive age.”

Mr. Kapka who is a former secondary school teacher has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, and a Diploma in Secondary School teaching. In 1990, he left teaching and started buying coffee and built what is now the multi million kina company, Kongo Coffee Limited (KCL).

The company he built now buys, processes, and exports green beans to Australia, United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK), Japan, Germany, New Zealand and many other countries. Mr. Kapka employs 130 people, including 15 university graduates, one of whom is a graduate from PNG University of Technology’s Simbu Campus.
Mr. Kapka said job applications are received everyday and week, and it is also tough to find formal employment these days, hence the encouragement for graduates to create their own opportunities with their qualifications.

“You have your life before you. You have received your qualification, and if you want to make anything happen, it can happen starting today or tomorrow. Believe in yourself…be focused”, Kapka said.

Mr. Kapka shared his experience with the graduands saying there were negative comments made about his venture into the coffee industry, but he remained focused on what he wanted to do. “I don’t care what other people think, what’s the result? I have built a multimillion kina business… because I believed in myself. Don’t worry about what other people tell you. You have the power…if you make a plan and say I want to make it happen and if you set yourself on that pathway,
you will achieve what you want to achieve.. ”

He added that he was delighted that PNG University of Technology has a campus in Simbu, which made it convenient for students to pursue further education in the province instead of traveling to Lae or Port Moresby to receive tertiary education.

13 students graduated with their Diplomas in Communication for Development Studies, and Business Accounting respectively.

Addressing graduates on behalf of the Vice Chancellor was Pro Vice Chancellor Administration Professor Kaul Gena, who said Mr Kapka was purposely invited to inspire the graduates. “I hope the graduands have picked up a lot of tips from the King of Coffee in Simbu”.
Professor Gena reaffirmed the remarks made by the guest of honor, saying that more than 31,000 grade 12 students sat for the National Grade 12 examinations in 2023 but not all students secured placings in tertiary institutions because of the capacity of these institutions.

Professor Gena said PNGUoT is now doing its part to address this by offering online courses for students to undertake, which has been running for three years.

The partnership between PNGUoT and the Simbu Provincial Government to operate the satellite campus is one such initiative addressing the government’s agenda to expand access for higher education to the greater population.

Graduands Respondent Miss Lila Kiri who attained her diploma in Communication for Development studies said they were fortunate for the opportunity to study in the province, urging more students and parents to make use of the opportunity.
“Let us make use of the qualifications we have received and make an impact in our communities.”

The 4th batch of graduands are the second last batch of Diploma graduates, as the diploma programs currently offered will be phased out paving way for the Bachelor Degree programs to be rolled out.

The thirteen (13) students that graduated from PNGUoT’s Simbu Campus in Simbu Province.