News The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: Deafness Influenced My Choice of Discipline and Institution- BO

First Class Diary: Deafness Influenced My Choice of Discipline and Institution- BO

Hi everyone! It’s the last series in September and this episode is particularly interesting. It goes further to say that there is no excuse for failure.

Mrs Bernice struggled with deafness just before she could even start her life but guess what? That didn’t even stop her passion for success. What is your excuse my readers?

With a joyous joy in my heart, I present to you my guest for the week. Readers, please meet Mrs Bernice Oyeleke. Let me save the rest of the story.

In her words,

Circumstances that come our way in life should not determine what we make out of life, especially if it is unpleasant. When an unpleasant situation arises, that is when we should never say quit.


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

Bernice Adebimpe Oyeleke: My name is Bernice Adebimpe Oyeleke (Mrs), born a year plus three decades ago. I grew up in lagos and attended Adesola Nursery and Primary School, Alakuko, Lagos.

Thereafter, I proceeded to Ebenezer Comprehensive High School, Ijaiye-Ojokoro, Lagos.

After two years of completing secondary school, I secured admission to study Special Education/ Chemistry at the University of Ibadan in 2007.

I completed my first degree program in 2011. Following the one year compulsory National Youth Service, I returned to University of Ibadan to run my masters degree program as a university scholar.

I am currently an education officer under Federal Ministry of Education. Engaged in Deaf advocacy which I promote through my Non-governmental Organization called Luminous Deaf Scholastic Initiative (LUDESI). I’m a wife and mother. It may interest you to know that I am also Deaf.

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

BO: Deafness influenced the choice of discipline and institution. Though, as a child, I wanted to be in a human-centric profession. Then, I was also a sort of human right activist.

My brilliancy made me opt for Science department with the mind of pursuing medical profession. Whereas, I was also nicknamed my lawyer by my immediate family members, a title I earned from human right behaviour of mine.

However, deafness struck just before I got promoted to SS1. It, therefore, affected what I felt I could study and the institution I could attend. Nevertheless, I realized my passion in what I studied. The course enabled me to contribute to humanity and advocate for the Deaf.


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?

BO: Well, there is a bridge that is needed to connect competence with performance which is practical opportunity.

There should not be much disparity between what the career field will request of one and what the academic training grounds (our institutions) offer.


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

BO: Competence without performance can come up as a result of little or no opportunity for practical application of what one studies. Our education system is more theory-centric.

Nevertheless, in as much as I will advice a more practical approach education system, I will also charge every student to put his or her life in his hands. Go out for opportunities that improve you.

Partake in volunteering service. Use the holiday wisely. Look for and grab every opportunity that enables you to put into practice what you are studying.

Performance goes beyond school grade. Outside the school, it is survival of the strongest, not even the fittest (defined by a school grade). The labour market is after what the individual has to offer, not just the certificate.


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?

BO: My friends. They made a lot of effort to bridge the gap that deafness could have caused me in my academic quest. Jumoke Idowu-Famofo (Now Mrs Dada), Taiwo Akano, Hope Okeke and Folake Abiola. My school fellowship, CACSAUI, was also very resourceful. Then my family for believing in me.


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

BO: I am gainfully employed under Federal Ministry of Education. However, I’m gradually drifting towards creating employment as well.


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

BO: Sometimes, it does. Other times it doesn’t. It does in a way that I am expected to deliver more. So, when I’m being trusted with a responsibility as a result of the grade, what it simply means is that they are expecting more from me.

High academic grade brings one to be noticed, nevertheless, it simply brings one to deliver more than the average. More will be expected of such a person. With every responsibility, the onus lies on you to defend your grade.


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

BO: I will advise them to try. Study hard, pursue and expand your potential. Stretch. Don’t compete with the class or school grades. Rather, compete with your potentials and you will be surprised at how much your potentials can stretch and achieve.

In addition, participate in task and activities that increases your career values.


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

BO: More practical opportunities should be made available for students at all levels. So also, trade and vocational subjects should be promoted to reduce the traffic on white collar jobs.

The country’s educational policy should make every one feel comfortable to pursue whatever he has the capacity for. Be it rigorous academic work or trade or manual work. It is the end that justifies the means.


AI: Any other thing you would like to share?


Circumstances that come our way in life should not determine what we make out of life, especially if it is unpleasant. When an unpleasant situation arises, that is when we should never say quit.

Thanks for your time!


That’s it for this week’s episode. I hope you enjoyed the interview. Do you know any scholar that should be featured?

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

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

Support EDUGIST to give education a VOICE in Africa

Education journalism has become highly important in today's world and the need to sustain it has become highly recommended. Hence, accuracy, originality, readability and dependability becomes a must. Without adequate resources, dependability may not be able to stand the test of time.

To be relevant is to keep meeting the needs of the readers. Help us stay relevant by donating to our course. With as little as $10/N5000, you can support us in ensuring that we keep publishing accurate, original, readable and dependable educational contents for your views.

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:

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!