Interviews The First Class Diary

First Class Diary: Grades are Important, Being a Reflection of your Grades is more Important – FOO

Written by Abigael Ibikunle

First Class Diary: Grades are Important, Being a Reflection of your Grades is more Important – FOO

Hi everyone! It’s a beautiful Monday morning and I am bringing to you, another exciting episode on the series again.

Whenever anyone calls to talk about a first class diary episode, I feel so excited and happy. Please, keep the feedbacks coming.

Please, meet my guest for today, This time, all the way from University of Benin. Give it up for Favour Ochuko Ogini, Esq. Let me save the rest of the story.

In her words,

Be a person of value. That necessitates consistently acquiring skills that reflect competence and performance at the same time. As much as grades are important, being a reflection of your grades is even more important.


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

Favour Ochuko Ogini: My name is Favour Ochuko Ogini and I am passionate about excellently making positive impact.

I have three amazing older siblings and I attended St Margaret Nursery and Primary School, Ikorodu, Lagos.

I had my secondary education in LSCSJMC Igbogbo and Federal Government Girls College Sagamu, for junior and senior school respectively.

Then, I proceeded to the prestigious University of Benin where I bagged my LL.B degree.

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

FOO: I believe I just wanted to pursue my dreams at the time. I grew up with Pharmacy in mind but when I got to junior secondary school, I realised I loved science. However, it was not something I was really passionate about.

Then, I had this brief conversation with my Dad and he encouraged me to identify exactly what I wanted, and pursue it. So, I prayed and went for Arts.

I really loved government, and literature and when it was time to fill my JAMB form, Law just felt right.

As for choice of Institution, all my siblings went to the University of Benin. Being the youngest, I was already looking forward to doing same and I’m glad I did.

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?

I believe it is important to be a person of value. That necessitates consistently acquiring skills that reflect competence and performance at the same time.

As much as grades are important, being a reflection of your grades is even more important.

Like 5&6, competence and performance must go together. They cannot and should not be separated.

Students must be open minded to acquire knowledge for the purpose of applying it to solve problems. And when problems are solved, value is identified.

There are undoubtedly, other factors contributing to the unemployment issues in Nigeria but we cannot deny that people are getting 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

FOO: Like I said earlier, competence and performance must go together. Performance ought to be a reflection of competence.

Having said that, I believe what is responsible for competence without performance is students learning in vacuum.

Practicality gives knowledge life. And when people can practice what they know, they can use it to solve problems and serve others. That really is the basis of education-value.

Don’t just learn to pass. Learn to acquire knowledge.

Performance level can be improved with consistency, hard work and smart work. University students and graduates are encouraged to diligently work towards becoming a reflection of the knowledge they acquire and consistently working smart to reflect excellence and value.


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?

FOO: Indeed, I am grateful to God for being the greatest support ever and for giving me an amazing support system when I was in the University. My Parents and siblings contributed immensely to my dreams becoming a reality.

I can never forget my Lecturers! The list is long, but particularly Mr Garuba, Mrs Ebeigbe who supervised my final year long essay, and Dr Arishe. They inspired me to never settle for less and strive for excellence.

Ifeoluwa Gbadamosi, Zainab Mukhtar, Opeyemi Ogunjobi and Osaretin Aimuan were always there to advise, encourage and pray with me when I had challenges.

I’m really grateful I have them as friends. I would also love to appreciate all my friends and fellowship pastors who encouraged me to keep going.


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

FOO: I am currently at the Nigerian Law School for my B.L Programme which is a requirement to be qualified to practice Law in Nigeria.


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

FOO: I believe grades give you the platform. But it doesn’t end there. It’s a two way street. Just like competence and performance. Personally, I am passionate about making positive impact excellently.

So, my grades have given me the opportunity to reach out to students and encourage them to be more and that gives a sense of fulfilment.


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

FOO: Believe that you can.

Be focused, determined and disciplined. Let the difficulties and challenges push you to be better than you were yesterday. Be tougher than the tough experience.

Identify your priorities and ensure you are deliberate about what you want. Erase impossibilities from your mind, work hard and work smart.

You have to put in the work. Attend your lectures dedicatedly, Read and start preparing early. Imbibe the time management and balance culture.

Ultimately, lean on, serve and trust completely in God. He alone can give you the outstanding success you desire. So, while you work, pray and trust God always, even when its hard.


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

FOO: I believe the curriculum should be consistently modified to reflect modern realities. We cannot give what we do not have. The world is evolving, so many things are happening and changing. The curriculum must evolve too.

Also, I believe the Covid-19 period has revealed that there is a need to improve the infrastructure and method of learning in Nigeria. Amenities that can facilitate learning should be put in place.


AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

FOO: I would like to appreciate Edugist for this amazing opportunity. Well done!


That’s it for this week’s 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.

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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