Gone are the days when graduating with First Class/Distinction was a good news, right???

Gaining admission into the prestigious Federal Polytechnic Oko was a merely dream come true… merely because I had initially wanted to study Computer Engineering at Michael Okpala University of Agriculture, Umudike. As of matter of fact, I made good grades at the then just concluded post utme of the school, Department with a cut off mark of 40 out of 100, and I made a 66.67 pass mark yet I was denied admission.

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This is Nigeria where you have to know somebody that knows somebody that knows another person to get what you want or you either pay to get what you want, And since I don’t know anybody and Dad insists that if I must go to school, I have to be admitted on merit not by paying off anybody to secure admission, this is because of the two reasons; 1. I was naturally smart and intelligent, paying for my admission would definitely discourage me and make me think I can even pay off my ways in school, you know, the sorting we call it today, Dad doesn’t want me going to a higher institution with that ideology because he believed I’m too intelligent for that. 2. The second and I would say another important reason behind no payment to get admission was Dad had no money then. As a matter of fact, the question was if I eventually get admitted, where do we get money to train me in school, but then we left everything to God, my priority then was securing the admission first, for these reasons, I lost the admission and my dream to study my dream course at my dream school.

The next alternative was my second school of choice, Federal Polytechnic Oko, I had to give it a shot, the zeal to further my education was there and I was so optimistic, I actually left secondary school in the year 2011, and it was 2013 already but yet to be admitted to any institution. My attempt in 2012 was a NO NO, so 2013 was another opportunity to try, this time around, since my dream school had failed me, I decided to give Federal Polytechnic Oko the shot.
During the mid year of 2013, I was admitted to study

ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING at the prestigious Federal Polytechnic Oko.

Fast Forward to Academic Activities in School!

If there was one decision I made as a Fresher when I gained admission, it was never to sort any lecturer.
But you see eh, Electrical/Electronics Engineering Department in Federal Polytechnic Oko will humble you ah swear, As in eh, it will only take the “Special” grace of God to conquer on such decision… mark that word, “Special”
The Heat was much mehn, Local man must pass, but I kept to my words anyhow. After all I don’t see any reason why I should attend a class, do the necessary researchs, assignments and practicals on a particular course and fail it, MBA nu. I was too intelligent for that, Even if the lecturer get strong head, bad as e go bad, he go give me low grade as per say I no gree bribe am but failing or carrying the course over is an impossible term for me! No be me again?

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If there was something I ever took pride in as a student, that was my Intelligence and Brilliance. I will always tell myself, I’m too intelligent, why I go fail? But something happened, something that humbled me so much, First semester ND1 was over with our mode of exams as Optical Mark Recognition (OMR), this is where you are given the questions with a sheet to share the correct options on, like Jamb used to do before the Computer Based Test (CBT) format took over.
When result of that semester exam came out, I noticed I had reference in a particular course, “Technical Report Writing” EEC114, shuu? Report writing that was even rated the cheapest course in that semester, how could this be? The examiner lost our scripts, and there was no score for us (the affected ones) on our exam column, MOGBE… it was at this point I realized that being intelligent is good, being prayerful is better but being Intelligent and Prayerful is the best, it’s a virtue every student must posses. Even while you prepare fervently for the exams, pray for Grace. Grace against missing scripts or other exam vices.
Local man wept!

Reference na reference na, whether na your fault or examiner’s fault, you go carry the course over, rewrite am ni, that was the only option I was faced with… we tried to see any possible way we could resolve the issue but to no avail… Ngwanu, Local man has to rewrite the course
I didn’t give up, I went to God in prayers o, prayed the ones I know and the ones I don’t know maka chi.. but las las, God answered, how? We never rewrote the course, though it took a very long time, but then it was resolved. As a matter of fact, it was resolved when I was already in ND2. An issue I had in First semester ND1, that is by the way…

A little backward, the one good thing my school did then was to introduce the Computer Mode of examination, The Computer Based Test (CBT)… I swear that was the best thing that ever happened to me personally. Some say, CBT is not the proper way to test students knowledge but within me I was so comfortable with it cause the Introduction of CBT exams equally came with a hard core policy on our normal Quizes.

Our Quizes now seemed more like a degree exam, that was the only Avenue Wicked lecturers had to punish students, Nwanne, they will humble you for just 40 Marks continuous assessment (CA), they believe we can always scale through in the CBT exams which had the greater score grade, 60.

There’s this saying that if a hunter learns to shoot without stopping, the birds will learn to fly without perching. That was the format then, Strict situations call for strict measures, Nwanne, I had to double my efforts o.

Las las I scaled through, ND2 was actually my best level in school then, came out with Distinction in both semesters, but then I had to graduate with an Upper credit because of the challenge I had in my ND1 which dropped my GP.

That was the end of my Ordinary National Diploma program, with was followed by my 1 year Internship.

Fast Forward to Higher National Diploma (HND)

With so much enthusiasm, the struggle continued with HND1 first semester flowing so well, You know there is this feeling that comes with the first session in school, be it secondary or tertiary institution. I can remember vividly my first term in JSS1 was blazing so hot, even though I came out with the first position in class, that did not intrigue me, what did was the gap in average score I gave to the person with the second position, Mehn, blood the always hot for first class them, I had that morale in my ND1 first semester, if not for the challenge I had with the missing script, it would have been worth it. Now that was the same spirit I came with in my HND 1 first semester, Blood hot die, at the end of the semester I made a Grade Point (GP) of 3.74, best GP ever… that was Distinction you know? Without sorting any lecturer, isn’t that wonderful?

The funky thing with my HND1 first semester was that I was rating myself low even though I made good grade but mehn two of my course mates came out with a 4.00 GP that first semester, you know what that means? Parallel A in the 8 courses we offered that semester.. I be like, these people them carry two heads? You see why I was not too satisfied with my GP that semester even though categorically, all of us na Distinction candidates.. outside the two candidates that made a 4.00GP, a whole lot others made good grades that were far above mine, as a matter of fact, EEE HND 2016/2017 set became the talk of the department that even our own lecturers started threatening to deal with us the next semester…

Trust my Department, it’s a no nonsense department na, if you make an Upper credit, thank your Chi ma ya foduzie Distinction. Even the lecturers that didn’t take us on any course that first semester all heard it and came to threaten us as we would be meeting them the next semester!

FAST FORWARD TO HND1 SECOND SEMESTER

Omo this was another nightmare for me, outside the threat from lecturers, though that didn’t scare me o, I was still of the believe that if I study hard I will pass without sorting or bribing any shitty lecturer, But then this semester I was equally faced with the challenge of my political ambition in school.

I was running for the post of the number 1 student in Federal Polytechnic Oko, the Students Union Government President! That was when I experienced the most difficult part of education in school, I started missing classes, Kevin that would never even miss class for free money, but then I started missing classes, rather I was going about other classes campaigning and sensitizing with students, it was the semester for the election itself. I was fully qualified, meeting up to Academic qualifications and also being a bonafide member of the institution.

Omo, second semester was hell for me, but like I said, I was very smart and intelligent, Brilliant to the core. That’s one of my blessings from God.
I can’t remember the time I sat in class for a full lecture during that period, if I’m not here campaigning, I’m at the other place campaigning. All thanks to my campaign team then, most of them too start skipping classes just to join me to the campaign and sensitization process.

Did I tell you I joined a crew in my HND? I used to think am smarter than everyone in my class then until HND1 first semester when I met some friends that joined us that was not my set during the ND program, they would have been my senior colleagues but Academic challenges made them go for 2 year Internship. So as at my HND1, we all joined the struggle together, I noticed I may be intelligent but these group of persons were something outside being intelligent, they were genius. The funny thing is that they roll together, Local man has to join the crew.
We call ourselves the “ELITES”… I once told you about someone that made a 4.00 GP in our first semester ba? She was actually the cordinator of the group. Yes, she, it was a lady, and that’s what challenged me more. I believe men should always outsmart the ladies in all ramifications, Educationally, Financially, Politically, Socially and even emotionally.

Nwanne, this crew was the best thing that happened to me in HND, after normal class with lecturers, we would have our personal classes till late evening before we could all go home, so this was my only saviour in HND1 second semester when I was absenting myself from classes. When the normal school is over, I would joined them in our private classes and relearn what they learnt in class and even more, cause we research more, that’s why we call ourselves ELITE. This crew baa, we don’t just read to pass exams, we read and study to get ourselves approved and worthy for the world and life after school… There we had specialties, some of us took into Programming and Coding as extracurricular activities, some into installations, some Jave scripts, some App Modding, this was to help and prepare ourselves for the life ahead, the life after school. Me, I was already a designer, a tailor or whatever you want to call me, so most times I pay little or no interest in those extracurricular classes and activities, that not withstanding, I was still good in Installations, I can comfortably install electronic components without aid of anybody.. I was still good in my field, the only problem was that I don’t practise it… I would rather use my spare time to travel home and do my Designing work (Tailoring)

This was the routine for us during my HND, and during the weekends we will have an all night class except on sundays, of course we need to be at home and sleep as against school on Monday, like I said this was my only saviour then, Exams came with so much anxiety.. but thank God I scaled through. When the results came out, I made an Upper, no longer Distinction, I felt very fulfilled that I didn’t carry over any course and I made an upper without sorting any shitty lecturer. Now the funny thing with this semester was I came out as one of the best students for that semester, someone that missed classes, infact nobody made a distinction in our second semester HND1, if you make an upper, you are blessed. Over 70% of the class had courses they carried over, That was our lecturers keep their words, they promised to make the semester a hell for us.
How could we have made such wonderful results in the first semester, A whole EEE? MBA nu

FAST FORWARD TO FINAL YEAR

The first semester in HND2 was so cool, the spirit was high again. The SUG election was over, I didn’t win the SUG presidential position, to me the only thing I got now is my Education and nothing more.
Struggle continued, the semester was excellent even though we had tough courses to face, infact if you see anybody studying ELECTRICAL electronics engineering in Federal Polytechnic Oko, always pity the person especially the ones in HND, Courses like Electric Circuit Theory will humble you to the core, Digital Installation was another nightmare of a course with topics like Fourier series, and co, Tufiakwa!
But then HND2 first semester turned out well, I bagged another Distinction with my crew that semester, we were neither surprised nor happy, we merited it, we worked hard for it.

Second semester HND2 came in, that was the semester we would be writing our Degree exams and graduating from that citadel of learning, things were moving fine until the school management had a change in administration and the new administration introduced POP mode of examination (Pen on paper)…. MOGBE

I was not really scared of what to write, we go still study and pass but it would be another nightmare considering what I went through in my ND1 first semester, issues like missing scripts will set in again
Nwanne, you see in this life eh, in all your gettings, get God o. Na God Grace we take the go o…
It was 6 course semester with POP mode of exam from wicked lecturers, we had advices like, Kev better sort this woman o, our predecessors had warned us because most of them would be repeating the course with us. Make I no call name sha, but that course was a very strict one, coming from a mean woman lecturer, I don’t need to tell you it was hell already

Fast Forward to exams, I didn’t sort her, my one naira didn’t go to any lecturer yet I still came out with Distinction despite the POP examination mode. It was at this point I felt very happy and fulfilled. Passing those 6 courses with that mode of exam was no joke, we made it, Mama we made it!

Today I’m a graduate of Federal Polytechnic Oko, and I made Distinction in my discipline, Electrical Electronics Engineering. But then, it’s no good news… anybody can actually buy such result, regardless of the fact that I fought for mine…

I don’t blame the society and the corporate bodies, I blame it on my country.
A country that would rather excuse the word “Bribery” for “Lobbying”, “rigging” for “gerrymandering”

I blame it on my country, country that would rather promote illicit acts on the national television yet the best graduating students are never even recognized in their individual institutions talk more of nationally.

I blame it on my country, country where a student would use his textbook money to buy airtime just to vote his favourite housemate in a television program, Las las school na scam they would say
A country where People preach and sponsor immortality than an excellent college kid with excellent dreams

I blame it on my country, country that is being ruled by an illiterate, now tell me, of what use is my struggle in school and qualifications when the decisions of this great nation is made by a school dropout cum graduate by affidavit. It’s funny, isn’t it?

Las las school na scam, that’s the song in the mouth of the youths now, all they wan hear is “Hustle don pay?”
Fraud and theft is now the major means of livelihood in my country, if you don’t do it, you don’t belong, you no dey game.. you be sabi whatsup!

Infact in my country eh, your certificate is as useless as the “P” in psycho, it’s now go to school to get cert, then come out to hustle like a drop out!
So many experiences, so many intelligence, so many skills, so many innovative minds, but no propelling force
So many dreams dead, Injustice is a positive word in our country. Even the hope of the common man, The Judiciary is the head of corruption!

But I want to charge the Nigerian youths that there is a future for Our country, we can change the society, we can bring back the old good days, we can’t break the norms, a society with youths earger to acquire knowledge, skills, a society devoid of theft as lifestyle, A society of Pioneers of Greater Heights and Young leaders.

I refuse to conform to the society and change with its changing years, I will define the society, the society will never define me
I am a Nigerian youth
I am Intelligent
I am knowledgeable
I am skilled
I am innovative
I am the future of Nigeria today
I deserve better

IKEMDINACHUKWU, Distinction Graduate of Federal Polytechnic Oko.
God bless NIGERIA!

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About Justice Winner 1072 Articles
Digital Media Strategist - I help you get seen, heard, known and paid using the digital media. I am the Founder and Editor of Rockstarvibes. Chat with me via WhatsApp

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