By Gabriel Dike
Ten SS3 students of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) International School, Lagos (ISL), are the rave of the moment. This followed their outstanding performance in the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
The whiz kids, who are already the toast of their peers and neighbourhoods, include, with their scores, Oyeyiola Adesoye, 342; Amodu Jolaoluwa, 332, Ezinwa-Obi Chidinma, 304; Odeyemi Busayo, 299; Anyachebelu Chibueze, 296; Okonkwo Jessica, 296; Omoniyi Michael, 294; Adenuga Elect, 294; Adegbuyi Temiloluwa, 293 and Akintunde Abdul-Raman, 291.
The Education Report spoke to some of the students. Seventeen-year-old Oyeyiola hails from Kwara State. He intends to study System Engineering at UNILAG. He said: “God, my parents, teachers and reading-mates played a major role in my performance.’’
He added that his mother, a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, UNILAG, his classmates and peers in the church also assisted greatly: “Two weeks before the UTME, our teachers prepared us for the matriculation examination. Our teachers are experienced; ISL has the policy of engaging best and experienced teachers. This paid off in our performances and they are proud of our performances.
“The school prepared us to be competitive and aim for greater heights. In my class, you could not take the same position twice, if you didn’t work hard. The essence of reading for exam and the competitive spirit helped me to score 342 in UTME.”
Amodu, 16, also from Kwara State, wants to study Electrical-Electronic Engineering at UNILAG: “I didn’t set any benchmark of what to score in the UTME. I just gave it my best. I give credit to God for this performance. Our teachers helped us a lot. They went out of their way to prepare us for the UTME. I also read at home and went through past questions. Our teachers are there for us to consult whenever the need arises.”
Sixteen-year-old Adenuga from Ogun State: “Anytime I needed help on any UTME subject, our teachers were available to solve the problem. I had a school partner; we read and solved past questions together. I want to study Medicine at Babcock University, Illishan, Ogun State.”
Odeyemi, 16, who intends to study Mechanical Engineering at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, said: “My dad was always on my neck when I was preparing for the UTME. My teachers also contributed our performance.”
While 16 years old Omoniyi, wants to study System Engineering at UNILAG, he attributed his performance in the matriculation exam to constant prayers, encouragement and support from teachers and parents: “Two weeks to the exam, our teachers left other teaching assignments to focus on the JAMB exam, they coached us.”
Supervisor of the SS3 Class, Mrs. Bukola Amodu, said ISL did not do anything extraordinary. Her son, Jolaoluwa, scored 332.
“The successes of the students were accumulation of long-term preparation.
“As soon as we teachers finished the syllabus, the school appealed to us to concentrate on preparing the students for the JAMB examination. We pushed the students harder.
“I am happy that their performances created a big challenge for the junior students. I have challenged the SS2 students to beat the record. In fact, we have created a challenge platform for them. ISL produced a banner for the 10 best students to serve as a morale-booster and reminder to the junior students.
“I believe we have good students and supportive parents. We will keep the tempo of preparing our students to do well in every exam. Now that we have set the ball rolling, it will be a challenge on ISL to maintain that record. The school is happy and we want to take ISL to another level and beat the current record.”
Vice-chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, hosted the whiz kids at the Conference Room of the Senate House. He said they not only raised the flag of ISL higher but also made the entire university proud of them. He charged them to maintain the tempo and continue being dedicated to their studies.
On purported hostel evacuation, he said the school was never shut down: “Only hostels are being evacuated to curtail the spread of COVID-19 among undergraduate students. All academic and administrative activities continue as usual and undergraduate lectures will continue virtually.”
The whiz kids were accompanied during the visit by the chairperson of ISL management board, Prof. Ngozi Osarenren; vice-principal, academics, Mr. Kolawole Amusan and Mrs. Amodu.