By Dayo Adesulu
When Ayodele Daniel Dada, in 2016 broke UNILAG academic records as the best graduating student ever with the Cumulative Grade Point Average CGPA 5.0, little did he know that he was indirectly setting an academic standard for those coming behind, as Taiwo Bankole and Oyindamola Omotuyi have matched his academic feat of CGPA 5.0 in 2017.
Apparently, with the feat of Miss Taiwo Bankole, 21 and Miss Oyindamola Omotuyi 22, the saying that what a man can do, a woman can do better is confirmed. What 5.0 CGPA portends is that these graduates made the A grade in all their courses throughout their stay in the university.
While Omotuyi studied System Engineering at the University of Lagos, Bankole on her part, studied Cell Biology and Genetics in the same institution. Incidentally, the duo are both fellowship members at the Redeemed Christian Church of God on campus. Bankole who is second in the family of six, hailed from Ipaja, Lagos State, just as Omotuyi, from Ondo, in Ondo State is the first daughter among three girls.
Speaking to Vanguard yesterday, Omotuyi who said she drew inspiration for reading from her father said: ‘’My father, an engineer reads all night and I tried to emulate him.”
Relating how she came about her first class, Omotuyi disclosed that she was not born a genius, but worked hard for it.
Not born a genius
According to her: ‘’While in primary one, I took 11th position in my class and in UNILAG, I had two bad results. A day before the exam of a particular course, I saw my test result where I scored 9/30. Before the test, I had read very well, yet, I got 9/30. When I saw it, I was downcast. I asked God what was going on and I cried. That was in 200 level. However, I didn’t let it stop me because I don’t believe in falling and not rising again. After crying, I met people to brush me up on the course to know what the lecturer really wants and the exam turned out beautifully later.
“In another course, I had 5/40 in the test and the highest in the class was 10/40, however, at the end, I scored 70 per cent.”
She encouraged students to do the needful, adding that getting admission was not particularly hard, if every student did his or her own part. She also pointed out that after school lessons helped her when she was in the secondary school. ‘’That was how I had 315 in JAMB and 76 in post-UME, ‘’ she said.
Speaking on the secret of her academic performance, Omotuyi pointed out hardwork among others as the key.
She said: ‘’I read a lot with my classmates, I enjoy learning from everybody irrespective of the level. I am more interested in the knowledge I will get and not CGPA. This is because of the family I come from; my daddy was a scholar who got a scholarship to study in Russia. He is a very strict person in terms of reading. Even at old age, he still reads till day break. I learnt the discipline from him and applied it in school.”
Asked if she has any reading technique, the scholar said she did not have specific hours spent on reading, neither did she has any reading technique. ‘’At every point, I depended on the wisdom from the Lord to do things better. I realised that when I obeyed, it worked.
“Thus, the exceptional thing is that I followed the directions that God gave me. I really did not just go to the library to read, I went to my seniors and asked what the lecturer of a course really wants students to focus on. I wasn’t so concerned about writing what I feel, but what the lecturer wants to see. I remember once in the exam hall, the Lord told me to write what the lecturer wants to see not just want you want to write.
‘’ I see lecturers as humans, and they are the ones marking the script, they have feelings and they know what they want to see because of what they have deposited in you, so they don’t want to see just anything; they know what they are looking for. That is the mindset with which I face my courses and exams. Write what lecturers want to see, not what you feel you know.’’
On her social life, Omotuyi said that her social life was spent with her friends and church members. She, however disclosed that she sometimes attended birthday meetings and went to watch movies.
‘’I never had a boyfriend. I understand what school relationships really are and I don’t do things because everyone does it, I have where I am going to. It is not that I wasn’t approached by boys, but there is a right time for everything,’’ she said.
On her future, she said: ‘’I am waiting for my NYSC’, but if the lord will have me do a master’s degree, sure. My course of study is really broad just that on BSc, it looks small. I am looking at furthering in computer vision, artificial intelligence and programming because I have interest in programming, mathematics and hardware.
Her words for students: ‘’For those still in the system; it is very beautiful to have a good result, everybody can do it, irrespective of what has happened before. Some persons did not have a good secondary school or probably a bad result; they should never let that stop them.
‘’I really didn’t have a good primary school result. When I got to secondary school, I was discouraged because I met a lot of people that came from very big schools and they were very good. I felt I couldn’t do anything to beat them, that I was a dull student in the class; that was in Jss1. I didn’t like relating, just stayed on my own. A teacher noticed me and brought me to the front of the class, then I started responding, started picking up.
Meanwhile,, Taiwo Bankole on her part noted that all was not rosy before she gained admission into UNILAG, She disclosed that though she had her WAEC and NECO at one sitting, she took UTME and failed. ‘’I ended up entering school with direct entry by doing diploma in UNILAG.’’
According to her, graduating with first class was not her target. Relating her experience, she said: ‘’When I did diploma, my CGPA started from zero in my 200 level. In my degree, when my CGPA rose to 5.0, I decided to maintain it by reading for six hours everyday. I keep my studies interesting and simple. I use the library, I read in my room, I listen attentively in class, and I trust God for success.’’
Reading for six hours everyday
Bankole disclosed that through her focus and constant reading, from 200 level her CGPA started rising and she determined to have an A in each course of the total course units of 102.
On her future plans, Bankole said: ‘’After my NYSC, I will do my Masters in genetics because I love the course.
For social life, she said: ‘’I go out with my friends, watch movies and go to church. I don’t have a boyfriend. Asked the reasons, she simply said: ‘’This is because I came to face my books and not relationships. When the time is right, God will provide the right person for me.’’
She urged students to be hardworking and never to loose focus.
“Be hardworking, determined and diligent in all your endeavours. Trust in God in everything you do to overcome challenges. I have no regrets.