First Class Diary: Total reliance on the curriculum by students have been the focal point for producing more competent yet not performing graduates – KA
Hello readers, how are you doing this week? Trust you enjoyed the weekend. I am excited to bring to you another interesting episode of the April series of the first-class diary. Our guest is Kehinde Adebiyi, all the way from Lagos state University. Did you miss the last episode? You can read here
In his words,
we are in a century where every student can get performance skills by leveraging the internet and also engaging in extra-curricular activities. The sad reality is that only a few proportions of the student populace does this. Thus, failure of the students to take responsibility and engage in well-meaning activities to optimize their academic experiences is also a major reason for the large numbers of non-performing graduates.
Abigael Taiwo of Edugist: Please share with Edugist, a little about your background.
Kehinde Adebiyi: My name is Kehinde Adebiyi. As fate would have it, I was raised in a ghetto where meeting up with basic need was a herculean task. Nurtured by two unlearned but caring and highly instructive parents, I grew up in Bariga local government. I attended public primary and secondary schools all through my academic journey. So, I was never privileged to get access to quality education in all measures.
Nonetheless, I was a diligent young chap who was motivated by my parents to continually work hard. And, remain optimistic for the possibilities of the future. Simply, I am from a humble background
AT: Was there any motivating factor(s) that influenced your choice of discipline and institution?
KA: At first, I wanted to study medicine and surgery, but was offered admission to study Microbiology at the Lagos State University. However, this did not go well with me. So, I registered for another JAMB the same year while I enrolled as a first-year student in Microbiology at LASU.
I am very glad that I gave my all to a course I intended to leave and bagged a perfect GPA 5.00 as my first semester result. Though, I did not get into medicine the second time, I had developed great interest in understanding the dynamics of microbes and their applications in medical and environmental sciences. This kept me motivated to pursue the course and attain the best of excellence in my studies.
AT: 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?
KA: We study in a system that has failed to adapt to emerging technologies. Therefore, producing graduates that may not be able to critically analyse issues beyond the scope of their study. Students are thus being taught competence within the four walls of the classroom but with no leverage for performance.
Thus, total reliance on the curriculum by students have been the focal point for producing more competent yet not performing graduates.
AT: What do you think is responsible for competence without performance? Please suggest ways of improving the performance level of university students and graduates.
KA: I mentioned in my previous response that total focus on the archaic curriculum is one of the reasons for this. On the other hand,
we are in a century where every student can get performance skills by leveraging the internet and also engaging in extra-curricula activities. The sad reality is that only a few proportions of the student populace does this. Thus, failure of the students to take responsibility and engage in well-meaning activities to optimize their academic experiences is also a major reason for the large numbers of non-performing graduates.
As such, the curriculum needs expansion and also students need to engage in activities that would make them versatile. Thereby, opening them to various opportunities. More on this can be seen in my book titled ‘Nature Pays Diligence’.
AT: 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?
KA: I rose on the shoulders of Mentors in all spheres. My parents are the fundamental motivation for my success because they believed in me and my twin brother greatly. I was also mentored as a young child by my Pastor, who is also a Professor.
He made me realize the impact of academic excellence and geared me up to pursue the best at all times. I connected with students at higher level that are excelling well. Moved with like-minded friends and also developed close relationship with my lecturers, all of which helped me to become the best version of myself. I wrote extensively on this in the Chapter three of my book – ‘Nature Pays Diligence’.
AT: As a first-class graduate, are you currently gainfully employed?
KA: I got my first employment with a United Nations Affiliated Agency, which is the Millennium Campus Network. As the Program Coordinator at MCN, I Coordinated over 1400 student leaders across 20 nations that participated in the class of 2020 Millennium Fellowship – a program launched by United Nations Academic Impact and MCN. There, I facilitated the implementation of 711 projects that have positively impacted the lives of over 875,827 people worldwide in 2020.
I got this job due to my wide experiences about the Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy, and also my academic feats. Thus, I was academically competitive and also possesses versatile experiences that aided my career goals.
I’m currently on a one-year scholarship program at the Nigerian University of Technology and Management pursuing a post graduate fellowship in Technology, Entrepreneurship and Design. I was selected as part of the 60 scholars out of over 1,000 applicants across Africa. Through the Fellowship, I am working with the best Faculty in the world, scholars and administrators in developing innovations for African Development.
AT: Do you think your grades have or is giving you any major advantage over other graduates with lesser grades?
KA: Yes! My grades have always brought opportunity to me. It has made me a competitive edge above other applicant. However, it also brings with it much expectations, where you have to prove yourself at interviews. As such, First-Class graduates must be versatile and possess the 21st century skills. It will enable them tap into the opportunities that are available to them.
AT: For students who aspire to graduate with outstanding grade like yours, what would you advise them?
KA: Diligence is the key. First-Class is not an easy but possible feat. Study always, be humble to learn from others. Teach others if you can, be resilient and persevere. Consistency makes the difference – all semester counts, all marks matter. All classes are important, assignments are not to be overlooked and yes, Pray!
AT: What would you advise the government to do to improve the standard of our education system?
KA: Increase funding for educational sector, incessant strike is killing the system! Develop a Quality Assurance approach that would ensure that updated and globally needed information are being taught in class.
Celebrate excellence and aid entrepreneurship.
AT: Any other thing you would like to share?
Truly, Nature Pays Diligence! Read a free e-book copy of my book.
That’s it on the series for today. Hope you had a swell time reading? You can read the previous interview here
To be featured in the series, please send a mail to Abby
I am Abigael Taiwo and celebrating excellence is a top priority for me.
iTeach, iSpeak, iTrain, iFacilitate, iWrite, iInterview and iLoveYou all. Smile! See you next week!