Award-winning first class graduate can’t find a job years after graduation
She is calm, meticulous and brilliant. You could see these traits in Sakinat Mojisola Ahmad as the reporter engaged her in a conversation in Lagos. Her accent, fluency, cerebral expressions, the breezy flow of her profound thoughts explained why she ruled supreme over her peers in her university days.
The 26-year-old lady, who hails from Oyo State, also exudes confidence and sharp memory, which she displayed during the hour-long chat with Daily Sun. But the first class honours graduate of Water Resources Management and Agrometeorology-Hydrology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State (FUNAAB), says she is hungry to mentor younger ones. She wants to be a teacher.
When Ahmad left her department in 2015 as the best graduating student with a grade point average (GPA) of 4.61, she saw a bright future and her hopes were high. There was a standing ovation for her when the school’s senate echoed her name for special recognition. Her bank account details were even collected by the senate, though she was not told the specific sum she was to receive. She was the talk of the town among her classmates and many of them wished they were as brilliant and lucky as she was.
As a result of her academic prowess and feat, she foresaw automatic employment by her university after graduation. But that didn’t come to pass. She explained that the job opportunity had been truncated few years before she graduated due to some leadership issues that engulfed the institution. But five months down the line, after the school collected her account number, nothing has been heard from the management.
A letter signed by the institution’s deputy registrar, Directorate of Academic Affairs, Examinations and Records, K.A. Adenekan, read in part: “I have the pleasure to inform you that you were one of the graduating students who made first class honours during the 2014/2015 session.
“Consequently, senate has approved that you be awarded the ‘Senate Annual Prize’ for the first class honours graduating student in the Department of Water Resources and Agrometeorology (Hydrology option), at the 23rd, 24th and 25th convocation ceremonies scheduled for October 20, 2017.”
Ahmad said she hated sitting at home doing nothing and wasting every passing day. Having taught National Diploma (ND 2) students during her National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) year at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State, she said she was eager to return to the classroom to continue what she loves doing best, teaching.
“While l was in school, l enjoyed teaching my classmates and most of them confessed to me that they understood my tutorial sessions better than those of the lecturers who took the courses. I have never had any problem communicating with people. I represented my university at different debate competitions and at other public speaking platforms.
“I feel happy and fulfilled imparting knowledge to people. During my NYSC days, I taught my students agroclimatology and soil and water conservation (practical), and the students were excited,” she said.
Perhaps the passion for teaching runs in her family. Her father, she said, retired as a primary school teacher. She praised the man for his diligence and unflinching commitment while he served in Kogi State.
“Despite the fact that things were not that easy for my parents, l still attended the best primary and secondary schools. They struggled to ensure that l had the best. That made it a necessity for me to seek admission in a relatively cheaper federal university. Even at that, things were still tough for me while in the university. My parents’ sacrifice became my driving force, to ensure they were happy and do not regret their investments in me,” she said.
Armed with the knowledge that a minimum of master’s degree is required to teach at any higher institution, Ahmad said she wouldn’t mind grabbing an offer at any highly reputable secondary school, which would help her pursue further degrees. She said she couldn’t afford asking her poor parents for further sponsorship.
But besides teaching, research is also a passion for this brilliant young lady.
She told the reporter: “I would love to go into research on consumption of potable water and its accessibility, especially in the northern part of Nigeria. I can also work with international organisations, to generate data in water education, especially in rural areas, which can help government formulate policies that can improve healthy living. Water-borne diseases are still on the high side in some places and nothing is being done about it.
“l am looking forward to sponsoring indigent students in the future. I know what l went through while l was in school, though my case wasn’t the worse.
“The fastest distraction for any student is the absence of finance to take care of basic things, except one is highly disciplined.”