The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: Don’t Read Books Only, Acquire Soft Skills Relevant To Your Field, Scholar Tells Students

Written by Abigael Ibikunle

Hello my fantastic readers. Thanks for always looking forward to the scholar of the week.

I am sure your week has been smooth. So, this week my scholar for the week is an amazing young lady.

Miss Ameenat Yusuf is a Political Scientist from the University of Lagos. My interview with her is quite interesting.

You know when you don’t talk much but your responses are bullet points? Yeah, that kind of thing. Let me save you the stories till you see for yourself. Smiles.


While growing up, I used to watch my father discuss politics with our neighbours. I would ask him questions for clarity purpose. I’d say that partly ignited the interest of political science in me.


Abigael Ibikunle of Edugist: Please share with Edugist, a little about your background.

Ameenat Yusuf: I am Ameenat Adetoun Yusuf. I’m from a family of five and I grew up in Ketu, Lagos. Had my primary education at Glorious Destiny Primary school, Mile 12.

Started my secondary education at Chasy comprehensive secondary school, Mile-12. And completed it at Zumratu-l- Islamiyyah Grammar school, Ikorodu.

I gained admission into the University of Lagos in 2014 to study Political Science. Topped my class and graduated with a first class.

I’m currently undergoing my one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) with Danne Institute for Research, Lekki, Lagos.


AI: Was there any motivating factor(s) that influenced your choice of discipline and institution?

AY: Yes, there were quite a number of things that influenced my choice of discipline.

While growing up, I used to watch my father discuss politics with our neighbours. I would ask him questions for clarity purpose. I’d say that partly ignited the interest of political science in me.

AI: There are two major skills that every student must possess: COMPETENCE and PERFORMANCE. While Competence revolves around skill acquisition. Performance is much more concerned about skill application. It is believed that most graduates are competent because their academic performance testifies to this. But they are performance-challenged. This poor performance ipso facto hinders them from getting lucrative jobs in the labour market. What can you say about this assertion?

AY: This assertion is quite popular in Nigeria but It’s not totally correct. It is true that a lacuna exists between the education system in Nigeria.

And despite what is obtainable in the corporate space. Pro-active students make deliberate effort to fill those lacunae.

AI: What do you think is responsible for competence without performance? Please suggest ways of improving the performance level of university students and graduates.

AY: As I stated earlier, the school system in Nigeria is disconnected from the real world. These disconnections account for competence without performance.

To improve on this, the curricular should be revised regularly. So as to reflect the changing demands in the corporate space.

Students on their part should also be proactive.

As a student, you can apply to intern with reputable companies in your field. Also learn soft skills that are being demanded in your field.

This will prepare you for the corporate world ahead of your peers.


AI: Achievement in life transcends ones personal efforts. There were people who, during your programme, rendered some assistance. And it made your dreams a reality. Who are specific persons whose contribution you cant forget in your first-class feat?

AY: My family, my friends and all lecturers in the department of political science, University of Lagos. They all contributed to my first-class feat. I wouldnt forget them in a hurry.

AI: As a first-class graduate, are you currently gainfully employed?

AY: Yes, I am. I currently work as a research Assistant with Danne Instutute for Research.

AI: Do you think your grades have or is giving you any major advantage over other graduates with lesser grades?

AY: Yes! As a matter of fact, I got my job because of my grade.

AI: For students who aspire to graduate with outstanding grade like yours. What would you advise them?

AY: I would advise students who aspire to graduate with outstanding grades to remain focused. They should set clear goals and map out realistic means to achieve the goals. Also, they should visit blogs like this regularly. So, they can learn from people who have excelled in their academics.

AI: What would you advise the government to do to improve the standard of our education system?

AY: I would advise the government to see education as an investment for the future. There should be a conscious and deliberate revision of the system. At such, the curricular will be applicable to the real world.

AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

AY: No, thanks.


About the author

Abigael Ibikunle

Associate Correspondent at Edugist, Abigael Ibikunle is a Mathematics Education graduate. A professional Journalist and a passionate writer. She can be reached via:

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