Interviews The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: Beyond Having Good Grades, Strive to be a Solution Provider- TT

First Class Diary: Beyond Having Good Grades, Strive to be a Solution Provider – TT

Hi everyone! It’s another Monday and the second episode on the August series.  You can be sure that it’s an exciting episode on the series again.

This time, my guest is all the way from Osun state University. Please meet, Theophilus Onewo. Let me save the rest of the story.

In his words,

good grades provides one with recognition, diverse opportunities give one access to platforms and relationships give one a cutting edge.

Enjoy!

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

Onewo Theophilus Tobi: My name is Onewo Theophilus Tobi, I am indigene of Okpella Town in Etsako East Local Government of Edo State, Nigeria.

However, I was born and brought up in Lagos State, Nigeria. I am the first born of my parents and I have three siblings. I am 26 years’ old.

I’m a graduate of Business Administration from Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria; I graduated in the year 2014 with a (CGPA of 4.77) as the best student in my Department, Faculty and College.

Also, I pursued an MSc degree in Business Administration from the prestigious University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Nigeria.

Furthermore, I am a graduate member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM). Currently, I am pursuing a Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) Degree at Acadia University.

grades

Onewo Theophilus Tobi

I have always enjoyed Academic success since my primary school days; as a result of which I received many prizes. Basically, I was a regular representative of my class and school in different competitions.

I was in the commercial department in my senior secondary school. So, I led the department every session and eventually had one of the best three WAEC results in my set.

I love studying, chatting, listening to music, playing musical instruments and praying. I’m an outspoken person; I love sincere people and I dislike dishonesty.

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

TT: Yea, my mum is a Business Studies/Commerce Teacher with the Lagos state teaching commission. She taught me these subjects all through my secondary school, and I always had an excellent grade in the subjects.

This made me love the subject and subsequently picked interest in a similar discipline in the University.

As for my choice of School, Uniosun is reputable for maintaining academic stability, good learning environment and high educational standards; this endeared me to the institution.

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?

TT: Well, I do not totally agree to this assertion. I agree that some graduates may be competent; yet, performance-challenged. However, I believe a whole lot of other factors asides performance also hinders graduates from getting lucrative jobs.

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

TT: I believe our educational methods in Nigeria place much emphasis on theoretical knowledge than real life applications.

Even our examination and tests are largely theoretical in nature. You are examined based on what you write and not what you know or can do.

Many students undergo industrial attachment / SIWES training in the course of their study. These trainings, however, have several short falls which include:

  • students observing the trainings in organisations that arent related to their course of study
  • lack of commitment on the part of students
  • inadequate supervision on the part of lecturers
  • organisations not showing students the intricacies of the Job.

These shortfalls make the training of little or no effect; thus, making them graduate without practical knowledge.

My suggestion is that the course’s curriculum should be reviewed to include more practical trainings and assessments.

Furthermore, institutions should partner with organisations in different sectors who would accommodate their students for practical sessions regularly.

Lastly, the students should be committed to practice as they are to theory. Also, lecturers or Supervisors should provide adequate supervision to students during practice sessions.

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?

TT: A lot of people contributed to my success story among whom are: My parents (Pastor and Mrs. Femi Onewo) are very intelligent people.

I learnt the art of reading from my Dad and he often gave me a gift if I maintained the first class at the end of every session, this motivated me a lot.

My siblings (Love, Michael and Faustina) looked up to me, I couldn’t afford to let them down, this kept me going.

Dr. B.O Babatunde (My course adviser and Project supervisor) was a mentor to me, he often advised and encouraged me, he made me believe I could be the best.

Also, Dr. A.B Lawal played a major role in my success story. He was a model to me and often gave necessary encouragements where needed.

A lot of my friends were very helpful some of whom are: Onifade Kunle (my best friend and reading partner), Atiba Funke (the second best student in my department, who often gave me a healthy competition).

Mr. Babalola H.B, Adeosun Mary, Adeagbo Tayo, Adebayo Abiola, Olojede Daniel, Adeola Ifeoluwa, Azeez Odunayo, Oyedele Adetola, Oladipupo Sola, Adeleke Florence, Atobatele Remilekun, Fadare Opeyemi, Adenle Esther and a host of others I can’t mention.

 

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

TT: Yea, I was retained as a lecturer in the same department I graduated from.

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

TT: Yea, because

good grades provides one with recognition, diverse opportunities, gives one access to platforms and relationships. It ultimately gives one a cutting edge.

However, beyond having good grades, everyone should strive to be a solution provider. Nowadays, organisation look beyond grades to hire people who can add value.

 

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

TT: I advise them to be studious, focused, principled, disciplined, keep smart friends, set tough but achievable goals. Above all, have a relationship with God. With man, it is impossible but with God nothing shall be impossible.

 

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

TT:

  • Our curriculum(s) should be modified to suit the 21st century Knowledge needs.
  • Adequate funding should be provided for educational institutions for smooth running and infrastructural development.
  • Teachers/lecturers renumeration should be improved; this would help retain the best brains in the educational sector and ensure teaching effectiveness.
  • Academic stability should be ensured.
  • Outstanding students should be recognised and rewarded adequately: this will help motivate other students.

AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

TT: I don’t believe anything is unachievable, I am undaunted by the enormity of a task. I believe if there is a will, there is a way. You can be anything you desire to be, just trust in God and be dutiful.

 

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

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

Or want to contact any of them for engagements? Please reach out to me

I am Abigael Ibikunle and celebrating excellence is a top priority for me.

iSpeak, iTrain, iFacilitate, iWrite, iInterview and iLoveYou all. Smile! See you next week!

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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: abigail@edugist.org/+2347035835612

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