Interviews The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: What is Not Known Cannot Be Applied- AJ

Written by Abigael Ibikunle

Good morning my people! How are you all doing? It’s been an amazing weekend for me. What about you? Do you know that, this week on first class diary: what is not known cannot be applied?

I am excited about a new week because new week means I get to tell you about a new scholar.

My Scholar for today is a young champ. Akintomide Jeremiah is an amazing Computer Scientist from Mountain Top University.

In his words,

Some students don’t have a purpose for learning. They are just in the university because it is considered important to be in one.


Abigael Ibikunle of Edugist: Please introduce yourself and tell Edugist, a little about your background.

Akintomide Jeremiah: My name is Akintomide Jeremiah. I’m a native of Akure in Ondo State. I’m 20 years old even though I graduated at the age of 19. I graduated from Mountain Top University with a First-class degree, where I studied Computer Science.

I attended Tabitha Rich School for my primary education thereafter I attended Messiah High School where I had my secondary education, I graduated as one of the top three students in my set.


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

AJ: Yes, and at first, I wanted to switch to Chemistry because I really loved Chemistry. But some people felt I shouldn’t. They tried to convince me that computer science department was the right department for me.

Still, my love for chemistry wouldn’t make me completely agree. I wanted to switch but along the line, I fell in love with programming and that made me stay. It was like a driving force.

My choice of institution was orchestrated by almighty God. This is because despite having the requirements to gain admission into the university of Ibadan, I wasn’t still able to secure admission. I went for MTU so I won’t stay at home and I must say I didn’t regret it.


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?

AJ: I would say in some cases it’s true. Because some people can’t defend what they went to school to study and got a certificate for.

For example, I studied computer science; I took various programming courses such as Java, I learnt how to write and run codes. I would be considered to be performance-challenged; if I go for an interview in an IT firm.

And at the practical stage, I’m asked to write a code and I can’t. Basically, my competency as a Computer Scientist will be questioned and I won’t be employed.


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

AJ: I think why we have cases of challenged performance is because,

Some students don’t have a purpose for learning. They are just in the university because it is considered important to be in one.

Some focus on getting good grade points while in the university. And they end up not learning and reading, to acquire knowledge for application asides good grades.

I think more of practical and oral evaluation in the university will help monitor the level of performance of students in the university.

Some students attend lectures, write notes without properly understanding the lecture topic or even engage in more research. And when it’s time to write a test or an examination, such students cram what is written in their notes and write it back for the lecturer.

When asked about some questions on the topics later, the student finds it difficult to give answers.


What is not known cannot be applied. Students who cram, find it difficult in the real world. I believe if oral and practical evaluation is enacted into the university system, students will focus on listening and reading. So as to understand what they are being taught. Knowledge would be properly imbibed in students. And performance level will be greatly improved.


AI: Achievement in life transcends one’s 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 can’t forget in your first-class feat?

AJ: Almighty God, my parents- Mr. and Mrs. Akintomide, my sponsor, Mr. Adebowale Olujimi, my mentor Dr. Yemi Akinyugha, my best friend Oluwalase Dideolasimi and all my friends that encouraged me not to give up.

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

AJ: Yes, although I ‘m currently serving my fatherland.

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

AJ: I would say yes. For example, there are top companies in the country that do not employ graduates having a second-class lower grade.

So, being a first-class graduate gives me the advantage to be able to apply for a job in such companies. It gives also an edge.


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

AJ: My advice to them is to put God first in everything they do and every decision they make. I would also advise they set goals for themselves.

When you have something, you aspire to achieve; you would give in your best to achieve it. Because you have envisioned a great end.

It is also important to be hardworking, focused, consistent and determined. Always put in your best in what you do. Just as it is written in the bible and I quote ‘whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might’.

Determination will make you work hard and be focused. And when distraction comes, determination helps you to stay consistent.


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

AJ: Firstly, I would like to say the education system should be made more accessible. Particularly for citizens, willing to go to the university. A lot of citizens are trying to gain admission after their secondary school all to no avail.

Some have written JAMB five times, gotten high scores but still find it difficult to get admitted. And this issue is discouraging a lot of youths facing this challenge. Especially, those that can’t afford to apply to a private university. This is destroying the education system.

I would also advise the government to ensure that good infrastructural equipment is made available. In various federal and state institutions, at various faculties and departments. This will aid competency and practical knowledge.


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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