Speaking Yesterday at Government College, Ughelli, on Attaining Academic Excellence in continuation of the SOS4 Campaign.
We are having a problem in Ughelli and environs: students are no longer interested in schooling or reading their books. Even if you arrange extra lessons for them, they either come late or they will not attend.
A lot of students who are to sit for examinations do not read with the passion you expect from them. Parents, on the other hand, prefer to register their children in “miracle” centers where their children can partake in exam malpractice. They are not ready to buy books for their children/wards but are ready to pay bribes for their children to cheat in examinations. The resultant effect is that most university graduates are not employable because they lack basic understanding of academic issues. Chemistry graduates cannot explain a simple thing like Gay Lussac’s Law of Gaseous Volumes or Electrolysis.
Our school was known for academic excellence, but recently, because of a combination of factors, the legacy is being eroded. This is happening even though Our Old Boys Association, the government, and the recent principal that retired put in facilities to make life comfortable and conducive for learning.
How To Attain Academic Excellence
Have A Dream
Know why you are in school. You are there to study, that’s why you are called a student.
Be punctual in all your activities. Wake up early, dress your bed, do your chores, take your breakfast, go to the assembly, and proceed to your class. I noticed that, just like most schools in our environs, children stroll to school.
Pay attention in class. I did that even at age 56 when I went to do a master’s degree. Do your assignments and ensure you observe your siesta; it helps you to stay alert at night.
Try as much as possible to read through all you were taught every day. Make sure you make summary notes as you read in another notebook. They become handy during revisions.
Try as much as you can to answer the questions at the end of each chapter. You will find out that you can’t answer some. Go back and read through again and take special note of those areas. They usually remain in your minds for ever; better still, it leads to a deeper understanding.
Avoid Dull, Unserious, and Unambitious Friends
Failure is contagious.
Stupidity is infectious.
Avoid cultism, drugs, smoking, alcohol, and females. Avoid vagrancy. Government College Ughelli is very big; there are enough places to play truancy.
There is a time for everything; keep school rules. Frequent punishments for offenses will distract you from your academics.
Don’t Let Religious Activities Distract You
There is a time for everything. This is not a Bible School. You will preach better with sound education because this is an information era.
Don’t get discouraged. I read Economics on my own. I read Geography on my own. We had no teachers close to our final examinations.
Afe Babalola read from home and he became a senior advocate of Nigeria, and he built one of the best Universities in Nigeria.
6. Dare To Set High Academic Standards For Yourself
I told myself I would make the best result in my master’s degree class at 56 years. I did—I had 10 A’s, 7 B’s and 1 C. Everything is created twice—first in the mind, and then in the physical.
As my Geography Teacher in Form 3 at GCU said, “Valuable as knowledge is, the power to attain it independently is more valuable” Mr. Bamuza.
If you take the opportunities to learn casually, you will end up a casualty.