By Gabriel Dike
Aduekpe Precious Edinaeval, 19, was the star attraction at the fifth convocation ceremony of McPherson University, Seriki Sotayo, Ogun State. She graduated with Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.97, Department of Accounting.
By her performance, Aduekpe set a new graduation record. Her score is the best since the inception of the university eight years ago. She went home with 10 prizes, including the Visitor Leadership, Chairman Award, Board of Trustees, Chancellor, Pro-Chancellor and Vice Chancellor prize.
Miss Osasona Ibukun has held McU record with a CGPA of 4.91 obtained during the 2018/2019 academic session. She is also from the Department of Accounting.
Aduekpe told The Education Report that she completed her nursery and primary education at Yemco Nursery and Primary School, Ogba, Lagos State, in 2010. She gained admission into Assemblies of God High School, Mowe, Ogun State, for her secondary education from 2010 to 2016.
She wrote her May/June 2016 West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in 2016 in fear and uncertainty. They were made to believe that passing the exams was largely a function of luck and grace and not by how intelligent or how much one studied:
“Fortunately and by God’s grace, I took the exams and passed well. I wrote UTME in March and scored 301. I was very excited and thankful for the result.
“WASSCE came in May/June. I obtained 7As in Mathematics, Economics, Financial Accounting, Government, Commerce, Computer Studies and Civic Education respectively, B2 in English Language and B3 in Data Processing and later emerged the Valedictorian of the set.
“Frankly, back then, going to a private university wasn’t something I desired. My set had the mind set that private universities are glorified secondary schools. We wanted a different experience.
“However, when my first choice, University of Lagos, came up with its admission requirements, I didn’t meet up. I wasn’t 16 years old as at the date of the admission exercise. Not wanting to wait a year and while weighing other options, my mother brought McPherson University’s admission form for me to fill so, I can say I owe it to her. We happen to be members of the Foursquare Gospel Church of Nigeria. We began the admission process and the rest is history.”
On how she coped with studies and writing ICAN exams: “I started from ATS 1 in my second semester in 100level. I was made to understand not to trivialise the exam. I got useful tips from my lecturers. I put in extra hours into studying at school.
“I attended tutorial at Riskfree Standard Associate, Obanikoro, Lagos, during break where I would go at weekends and be there from morning till evening. I cut down on my onscreen and leisure time so I could cover the very voluminous study packs.
“My parents were ever so supportive in prayers, financial resources and what not. I got assistance from my teachers, lecturers and colleagues when I needed encouragement or help in understanding certain things. I was so particular about starting and completing the certification while still having in mind that my BSc degree was of upmost importance so I ran with that consciousness.
“There were times I had to leave school to take the exam but I made sure I took note of all I missed while I was away. Also, there was this time both exam periods were close. There was so much pressure but I’m thankful there was no clash.
“I am humbled about this milestone and I feel motivated to continue to push myself to set goals and strive to achieve them. I am grateful to God and to everyone instrumental to my growth. I can only pray that this marks the beginning of great things even as I seek to become the best version of myself.”
Aduekpe did not have a specific study routine. But some of the things she did that worked and still works for her include “setting a goal before I start studying in terms of how many pages or chapters do I want to cover at that time? How many hours do I want to put into finishing this course? Also, I understand my strengths and weaknesses and discovered I am a flexible person.
“I can study in the day or night time in silence or with a bit of noise too. I also like to study while listening to music with my earplugs. Contrary to the common notion that it is a distraction, it helps me.
“However, I do not like to go very long hours studying. My brain doesn’t like that. I study and take naps or does something fun in between. Most importantly, I try not to let my study notes or materials pile up before going through them.”
She felt on top of the world for the awards she won: “Yes, I am deeply thankful for that. Some of my colleagues bagged other awards and I’m super excited that they did. I feel every award given was well deserved by the individuals and I wouldn’t say I missed any. I’m firmly of the opinion that if it is for you, it will come to you.”
She expressed sadness that many students in public universities who gained admission same year with her are either in 300 or 400 level: “Every student wants to go to school and finish in due time.
I can’t imagine how exhausting the turn of events is for them. I sincerely hope that government and relevant authorities look into the situation of constant strikes and provide a solution soon and for good.”
Her next plan: “I have plans, most of which are long term but I will take it one at a time. I will do my NYSC and I intend to further my education, go for masters, take other professional courses such as ACCA, CFA, get a job in a top reputable firm and start making money. I also have a fabrics business, The Fabrics Haven, which I started about a year ago. I will put more efforts into growing and expanding the business, so help me God.”
Aduekpe was born on December 5, 2000, and hails from Abi Local Government Area in Cross River State. She is the first of her parents’ two children: “I have a younger brother, Victor. My parents are Mr Samuel Adu Aduekpe and Mrs Grace Nkanu Aduekpe. My father works as an engineer at Zakhem Construction Limited while my mother works as a banker at Fidelity Bank.”