Eighteen-year-old Seunara Arotiba who emerged as the overall best candidate of the May/June 2018 West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) has said having a social life does not deter a student from being an academic genius.
Mr Arotiba scored eight A1s in Economics, Civic Education, English Language, General Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Tourism to have a total score of 663.3030.
Speaking at the end of the 57th annual meeting of the Nigeria National Committee of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC ) on Thursday in Abuja, Mr Arotiba said hard work, his parents and teachers helped him to attain excellence.
“The factors are hard work and a lot of heroes who have participated in building me up to who I am today, instilling the spirit of excellence in me. My parents, first of all, were my first teachers and mentors; the teachers in my school; I went to a great school, Airforce Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos,” he said.
“I am a social person and my favourite hobby is hanging out with friends, discussing and chatting. But I read a lot, especially during the holidays.
“One does not have to shut himself out socially [to] be an academic genius, it is just an issue of balance. And even currently I am working on how to broaden my social life because it is not all about academics, success in life is how you can connect, relate with people and communicate with people,” he said.
Mr Arotiba who is from Kogi State scored 305 in the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and is currently studying Medicine at the University of Ibadan.
Although a monetary gift was presented to Mr Arotiba and others, there was no mention of scholarships to the students.
His mother, introduced herself as Mrs Arotiba, said she believed scholarship opportunities will come.
Mrs Arotiba who is also an education officer at Airforce Secondary School, Lagos, said the best the government can give such person is to award scholarship just to encourage the child and other children.
Aside from Mr Arotiba who Is the first prize winner, 18-year-old Michelle Adeagbo from Chrisland High School, Lagos, emerged as the 2nd prize winner.
Miss Adeagbo who had a total of 650.8016 is currently studying Medicine at the University of Debrecen, Hungary.
The 3rd prize winner, Abiamamela Obi-Obuoha, scored all A’s with a total of 646.6936.
Mr Obi-Obuoha wrote his examination at Jephtah Comprehensive Secondary School, Port-Harcourt.
He is currently studying Mechatronics Engineering at the Afe Babalola University with a 4.96 CGPA
The three candidates were honoured with the National Distinction/Merit Awards accompanied by cash prizes
Also, WAEC also recognised five schools in Nigeria as the best in 2018. Two of them are in Lagos while three are in Abuja.
Airforce Secondary School Ikeja was given the Omo N’oba Erediauwa Coronation Trophy for producing the Best Male Candidates in the WASSCE for School Candidates, 2018 in Nigeria
The Airforce School was also given a trophy for producing the best aggregate results in Nigeria.
Chrisland High School, Lagos was given the Omo N’oba Erediauwa Coronation Trophy for producing the Best Female Candidates in the WASSCE for School Candidates, 2018 in Nigeria.
Loyola Jesuit College, Abuja emerged as the winner of the WAEC Endowment Fund Book Prize for producing the best aggregate results in the Federal Capital Territory.
Also, Loiusville Girls’ Secondary School, Abuja, won WAEC Endowment Fund Book Prize as the 3rd best aggregate results in the Federal Capital Territory
Stella Maris College, Abuja, won WAEC Endowment Fund Book Prize as the 3rd best aggregate results in the Federal Capital Territory.
The WAEC Endowment Fund was established by the West African Examinations Council at its 30th Annual Meeting in March 1982 to promote educational development projects of an international nature and to provide awards for outstanding performance by candidates in the Council’s examinations, among other objectives.
The WAEC endowment Prize is worth 5,000 United States dollars.
PREMIUM TIMES recently reported how Nigerians on Twitter and Facebook queried why educational excellence does not get as much reward as popular reality shows in Nigeria. Specifically, they singled out BBNaija whose 2019 winner got N60 million. The winner of Miss Nigeria pageant also gets in the range of N1 million and a car among a legion of prizes.
WAEC is an examination board established by law to determine the examinations required in the public interest in the English-speaking West African countries, to conduct the examinations and to award certificates comparable to those of equivalent examining authorities internationally.