Crowded Classrooms, Lack Of Internet, But These Students Became Outstanding Graduates Of Their University

Despite having to receive lectures in overcrowded classrooms and learning in a school environment without proper infrastructure including the internet, these students, through self-discipline managed to become outstanding graduates of the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State.

THE WHISTLER spoke with Chigozie Ngoka and Kafayat Aramide who emerged the two best graduating male and female students of the 2017/2018 academic session at the 2019 maiden convocation ceremony of the university.

While Ngoka graduated as the overall best student with a First Class (4.71CGPA) in Biochemistry, Aramide finished as the best graduating female student for the 2017/2018 session with a Second Class Upper(4.32CGPA) in Mathematics.

Federal University, Gusau was one of the 11 universities established by the federal government in 2011.

The university still lacked many of the facilities that provide comfortable learning environment such as good departmental libraries, sporting facilities and hostels, among others.

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The school has only one library with few bookshelves, and without internet connectivity while students have to listen to lectures in overcrowded classes without public address systems.

But Ngoka, who graduated from the Department of Biochemistry, said he was able to achieve the academic feat through discipline and a desire to learn.

Ngoka did not like mathematics but was shocked to discover that it was one of the courses he had to do as a Biochemistry student.

But because of his desire to succeed, he would often seek out colleagues who understood some courses better and asked for tutorials during free time while also tapping from his lecturers.

“Being a new university, things weren’t that stable here; especially our lecture pattern and lecture halls.

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“Sometimes, when we had general courses, the hall used to be occupied and we have to sit on the floor outside and again we did not have public address system,” he said, adding that learning conditions were challenging for most of the students.

Aramide, who applied to study Computer Science but was given Mathematics, said she was determined to excel in her course in spite of the challenges in the university.

“The school environment was not conducive; the weather, the language barrier. We didn’t have internet connectivity.

“When I was given Mathematics, I made the determination to do it and I pursued it and at the end it was a success for me,” she stated, stressing that while environment is crucial to learning, determination is needed to surmount challenges.

The two outstanding graduates also have words of advice for students who’re determined to achieve academic excellence.

“Students should discipline themselves. They should also understand the course language; like in my own course we use drawings and structures to explain things. They should also learn how to answer questions; a right answer can be answered wrongly,” advised Ngoka.

But he admitted there is no general theory to follow for a student to be outstanding, but the key is “self-discipline and hard work.”

On her part, Aramide, who recently got married to her heartthrob-Mukaila Suleiman who works in the oil services industry, advised other students to maintain focus on their studies and not be distractions by other issues which could become big hindrance to their aspirations.

“Students should be focused and determined because a course like Mathematics is for a critical thought and mind,” she said.

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