Schools News The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: Scholar Breaks Nigerian Record, Graduates at 18

Written by Abigael Ibikunle

Good morning my people! How are you doing? Trust you had an amazing week last week.

I apologise for not posting yesterday. It was intentional. Today happens to be my scholar’s birthday.

That’s right. It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to my scholar for the week. Aminu Akinyele PraiseGod, Nigeria’s Youngest Scholar.

On behalf of all our readers, Edugist team, we celebrate you.

In his words,

A myriad of students depends so much on cramming as an effective tool to guarantee exam success. However, they tend not to take cognizance of the fact that they would be needing that knowledge in the practical world. This has, in turn, hindered their employment chances.



Abigael Ibikunle of Edugist: Please introduce yourself and share with Edugist a little of your educational background.

Akinyele PraiseGod: I am Aminu Akinyele PraiseGod, an 18year old native of Yagba-East local government area of Kogi State. I attended POWA International School, Abuja for my primary level education.

Then proceeded to Command Secondary School, Kaduna for my secondary level education. Right now, I am an Alumna of Mountain Top University, and graduated as the youngest first class in Nigeria.


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

AP: Actually, yes! My parents motivated me to attend Mountain Top University. However, I chose English as a substitute for Law. And today, I cannot express my gratitude enough to God for making such decision of choosing English over Law.

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 labor market. What can you say about this assertion?

AP: This is quite true.

A myriad of students depends so much on cramming as an effective tool to guarantee exam success. However, they tend not to take cognizance of the fact that they would be needing that knowledge in the practical world. This has, in turn, hindered their employment chances.

Also, some lecturers accept and praise crammed works. And this has greatly improved high rate of competence rather than 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.

AP: Parents, examiners, peers and the students can be responsible for this.
Still, this Jericho Wall can only be easily brought to naught by the examiner(s). If more examiners agree to disapprove crammed works, by giving very low marks to works with crammed answers, this issue would possibly become history.

Also, examiners should be willing to engage student(s) in practical works, public speeches and presentations.


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

AP: Almighty God, my parents, Mr. & Mrs. Aminu Akinyele, my mentor; Professor Emmanuel Adedun. My sponsor; Mr. Adebowale Olujimi, my siblings. And my lecturers; Dr. Ademola-Adeoye Feyi, Dr. Friday-Otun Joseph, Dr. Anana Mariam, Dr. Olusola Oso, Dr. Esther Senayon and Mr. Olatunbosun Taofeeq. People who discouraged me also have a role to play in this feat.

AI: As a First-Class graduate, are you currently gainfully employed?

AP: I graduated August (2019), got a volunteering job in Ogun State that same month. I moved to Abuja September (2019) and got another job that same month. I’m currently undergoing my National Youth Service. So, I had to quit the job.


it is sacrosanct to note that academic grades, these days, do not offer automatic employment. I was the Students’ Representative Council Press Secretar; the General Secretary of the National Association of Students of English and Literary Studies (MTU Chapter); the Student Representative of the Ceremony and Honours Committee, etc. With these, I have more qualifications than just the grade.

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

AP: I have not taken cognizance of this. I know, nonetheless, that I’m going places my grades would be too low to get to.

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

AP: I would advise them by saying they should always set goals, keep their minds on those goals and fix their eyes on the prize. By these, all obstacles and challenges would be accepted with good faith and solutions would be proffered.

Above all, God should not be factored out no matter the situation.

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

AP: These days, most highly positioned Nigerian politicians send their children abroad for studies – this is completely an irony. This is as a result of the fact that there is something in the education system abroad that is absent in that of Nigeria.

First off, scholarships should be encouraged.

Secondly, payment of salaries should be efficient. Many examiners are more concerned about the money they earn than the impact they should make.

Thirdly, there should be an upgrade in the equipment used for practical. And they should be easily accessible to its expected users.


AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

AP: Yes! Students should be willing to take up socio-academic activities like board games, debate, public presentations, sports, etc. It is an added advantage. Furthermore, Entrepreneurship should be encouraged in schools


That’s it for this week. I trust you had an amazing read. Please my amazing readers, can we take a moment to celebrate this young champ by wishing him a happy birthday. I am Abigael Ibikunle, your favorite journalist. See you next week.

Please, you can celebrate my scholar by leaving a comment in the comment session, calling or sending him your wishes on +234 806 787 1507

Got a scholar you’d like to be featured on this series? Please feel free to contact me at or +2347035835612. 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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