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Just like theory and practical, competence and performance are two sides of a coin that are inseparable; one justifies the other -AO

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Hello my amazing readers, how was your weekend? Trust it was great. The year has been such an amazing year with series of events. Still, we’re grateful to God for thus far.

Meet our amazing guest for the week, from the Lagos State Polytechnic, Awolesi Omolola Adeola. Stay glued!

In her words,

Just like theory and practical, competence and performance are two sides of a coin that are inseparable; one justifies the other.


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

Awolesi Omolola Adeola: I am Awolesi Omolola Adeola from Ikorodu, Lagos state. I’m the second of four children and an only girl. I completed my National Diploma(ND) in business administration at the Lagos State polytechnic, Ikorodu, Lagos as the best graduating student from the school of management and business studies in 2015.

Thereafter, I proceeded to complete my Higher National Diploma(HND) from the same school. Where I graduated with distinction and received the School of management and business studies’ prize award for best graduating student of the 2016/17 academic session.


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

AO: As at that time, there were no solid arrangements for sensitizing young school leavers on the choice of school or career path to tread. Many just followed their hearts or made a choice based on their respective departments.

For me, I was good in all three departments but for physics. So, the school authority had to put me in the department where I had the highest scores. This, in turn, informed my decision to go to commercial department.

One thing stood out for me, I enjoyed the fair share of calculation and theory in that department. So, I stuck with it and started growing a strong desire for business related topics and ideas.

Now, the choice of institution was by chance. It was either a university or no other option but after several futile attempts, I had to settle for a polytechnic which I’m still grateful for.


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?

AO: Definitely, I believe competence and performance are two indispensable skills that any sound student should possess. These are the proofs that they have successfully undergone a course of study and are fit to practice.

Just like theory and practical, competence and performance are two sides of a coin that are inseparable; one justifies the other.

It’s quite unfortunate that most of the graduates churned out yearly are not as good as what their certificates portray.


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

AO: I am an advocate of COMEPETENCE + PERFORMANCE. But, unfortunately I found myself in a situation where GIGO (gabbage in, gabbage out) was the order of the day. And couldn’t help but devise a means to stay abreast of the whole process.

Many things have gone wrong on the part of the students, lecturers, academic board and the government.

On the part of the students, these factors, among so many, are responsible: wrong choice of course of study, faulty academic foundation, ignorance/lack of adequate sensitization, peer pressure, inadequate preparation, mediocrity, lackadaisical attitude, etc.

On the part of the lecturers, many have taught the same thing for over two decades. As a result, they have applied the same method of teaching (no innovation whatsoever). Some don’t even go to class as required but constantly give notes and expect every student to work the magic.

To the academic board, how do we expect students to measure up to expectation when the curriculum is structured to choke the life out of them? Lecturers and students are running a rat race to complete their course outlines within the shortest possible time. As a result, many have resorted to cramming, cheating and some bribing their way through.

On the part of the government and private bodies, lack of conducive environment for learning, inadequate provision of academic facilities to aid learning and insufficient funding and incentives.

All the above can be solved if students play their part to know what they really want and apply the SQ3R method; Lecturers teach appropriately and frown at cheating and bribery; The academic board revisit their curriculum and the government provide necessary facilities and incentives to aid learning.


AI: Achievement in life transcends one’s personal efforts. There were people who, during your programme, rendered some assistance that made your dreams a areality. Who are specific persons whose contribution you can’t forget in your first-class feat?

AO: First and foremost, I give all the glory to God, the mystery behind this feat.

Secondly, I appreciate my parents for their support. And some of my lecturers, who played their part in teaching well and ensuring that every class was full of fun and enlightenment. The likes of Mr badmus, Mr Adeyeye, Mrs James and Dr Rasaq Kareem. And lastly, my pastor who was responsible for my accommodation and comfort during school.


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

I am currently self-employed. I am the Founder and CEO of SPEAKSTERLING EMPIRE, an up and coming unisex fashion brand in Nigeria.


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

AO: No, I do not think so because this is 21st century. Many employers’ mindset has shifted from using good grades as a determinant for employment.

I am a people-oriented person; I do well with orally and verbally interacting with people. I’ve had some experience to back the claim. I got my previous job based on competence and performance.


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

AO: First of all, you need to love what you intend to study or are studying as this would fuel your passion. It won’t be all bed of roses but you can never go wrong doing what your heart desires. Be determined and disciplined, work smart and don’t forget God.


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

There is an urgent need for revisiting and restructuring. Old systems that no longer aid the growing system should be pruned. The world is changing, technology is advancing, and we can’t afford to be rigid.

Rewards and incentives cannot be overemphasized. There is a dire need for this as students’ focus is gradually shifting from education as the key to any nation’s growth and development.


AI: Any other thing you would like to share?

Finally, I’d love to say that education is not only within the four walls of a classroom. Students should learn to increase their network and knowledge base. Soft and hard skills should be acquired.

There are thousands of unemployed first-class graduates out there, don’t join the league. Think out of the box and do whatsoever your hands find to do.
Be a part of the change you so much desire!


That’s it on the series for the week. Hope you had a swell time reading? You can read the last interview here

To be featured on the series, please send a mail to Abby

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

On this note, we’d like to tell you that First class diary series will be going on a break. We won’t be featuring any guest next week. Thanks for your support! Say a word of prayer for our host!


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

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