The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: My Teacher Tagged me a Dullard, Still I Became a Scholar- AU

Written by Abigael Ibikunle

First Class Diary: My Teacher Tagged me a Dullard, Still I Became a Scholar- AU

Happy new month my readers! I celebrate all June borns out there. Yaaaay! It’s another Monday and I’m super excited to reveal another scholar to you.

Meet the scholar for the week, Amaka Ucha. She is a definition of don’t give up! Amaka’s background didn’t stop her from becoming a force to reckon with.

In her words,

Never give up and stop giving in to negativity. Until you stop feeling sorry for yourself, you will not move forward.


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

Amaka Ucha: My name is Amaka Ucha, from Ebonyi State. I was born in Lagos State, into the family of five children.

My secondary school days were nothing with first class in sight. My teacher had even called me a “dullard” and “olodo” at some point. This was because I couldn’t comprehend things.


Amaka Ucha

This made me become depress. I practically felt useless and became a shadow of myself. Who wouldn’t be?

I had made four attempts to pass WAEC and failed woefully at every attempt.

My mum, however, encouraged me. She saw something in me I never saw. I didn’t know what magic she did but the fifth time, I passed the WAEC. The rest is history.

In 2015, I got admitted into Ebonyi State University. Finally, I sighed.
I strived so hard and with diligence, I bagged a first class honours in Business Management. I graduated with a cgpa of 4.51 out of a 5.0 scale.

That was how this tagged “dullard girl” emerged the best Graduating student of her department. The lessons I learnt were simple.

Never give up and stop giving in to negativity. Until you stop feeling sorry for yourself, you will not move forward.

Was I angry with my teacher for calling me a dullard? Not at all.

I never got angry with my teacher. But I became extremely angry with failure.


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

AU: Yes, my mom is a business woman and there are times that I have helped her out in her Business. During these times, I got attached to my Mom’s business.

This led me to choose BUSINESS MANAGEMENT as choice of discipline.
I chose my state University because of the desire to get closer to my people.


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 skills 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?

AU: The assertion is true. I have seen people who did perfectly well academically. However, when it comes to application of those skills they’ve acquired, they are zero and vice versa.

Sorry to say, but the value which one brings to the labour market should not and must not be measured by academic performance.


Amaka Ucha

My advice to students and graduates is that, they should bring value to the table and not certificates or academic performance.


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

AU: In my opinion, one of the many factors that is responsible for the competence without performance is the kind of education system we have.

The standard of education system is very poor. We have an education system that doesn’t encourage performance.

There are lecturers who collect bribes from students to pass them. This attitude of many teachers/Lecturers have tarnished the images of many students and graduates. Hence, rendering them useless.

Another factor, is the family one finds himself. A family that pressures the child to come home with first position by all means. Not putting into consideration what it will cost him.

There is a saying that “all hands are not equal”.  Same can be said in regards to the academic performance. Some people can perform excellently well even with poor academic performance and vice versa.


AI: Achievement in life transcends one’s personal efforts. There were people who, during your programme, rendered some assistance that made your dreams a reality. Who are specific persons whose contribution you can’t forget in your first-class feat?

AU: I can never forget my dearest Mom, Mrs. Felicia Ucha and my siblings Ogechi Ucha, Chinedu Ucha, Chioma Ucha and Victor Ucha.

Also my teacher, Mr. Onwuka Chuks, Mr. John Afonne, Mr. Sammy Nadiz and Mr. Prince Onuoha.


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

AU: No, I am not employed yet. I just finished my NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE in Kwara State.


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

AU: No I don’t think so. I believe everyone is equal, no matter the grades. Value and performance is what matters.


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

AU: My advice to students is to apply P.H.D.

P stands for prayer, H for hardwork and D for diligence and determination. Throughout my journey from school till date, P.H.D is what I’ve been applying.


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

AU: The government should assist schools in provision of a conducive learning with good Educational infrastructure.

Also, they should encourage Teachers/Lecturers. Similarly, the lecturers can ensure the students are competent and also perform well.


AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

AU: In everything one does, he or she should keep PRIDE aside.


That’s it for this week’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the interview. Do you have a scholar you would love to be featured?

Would you like to sponsor any of our scholars you find their stories inspiring?

Got engagements for any of them? Please reach out:

I am Abigael Ibikunle and celebrating excellence is a top priority for me. iTeach, iSpeak, iTrain, iFacilitate, iWrite, iInterview and iLoveYou all. Smile! See you next week!


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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