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Nigerian is best – Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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Editorial

Amidst the socio-economic chaos in Nigeria, a 20-year-old Nigerian lady from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Miss Alaba Ann Tam Danagogo, has given the country something to cheer about. She graduated with distinction in Biology Major and Minor in English and Textual Studies. She emerged the best graduating student in the 190-year-old Syracuse University.

Her academic and other achievements have earned her the honour of being her class valedictorian and  a recipient of the 1870 Syracuse University scholarship offered by the Office of Admissions of the university for another four-year medical studies. Besides being the valedictorian, she was elected as senior marshall of the university and recognised as a Distinguished Syracuse University Scholar, having graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 3.97 CGPA in a four-point system.

However, Miss Danagogo did not just excel in academics alone, she also backed it up with an excellent humanitarian heart; she volunteered in hospitals and mentored other international students and also excelled in sports. Her ambition, which she said is to excel in scientific skills to care for those in need and also write for the value that would bring to humanity show that truly she would be of great value to humanity.

We commend the efforts of the young lady and congratulate her parents for a job well done in raising such a well-rounded lady in a world where most milennials seem directionless and lack focus. Again, her success goes to confirm what Professor Siyan Oyeweso, a Professor of History at Osun State University. said that recent graduation brochures across universities show that ladies are trumping male students, given that most graduation brochures have more female best graduating students and award winners for other prizes too.

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The young lady seems to have validated  that assertion. This is very uplifting and must inspire the Nigerian tiers of government to take educating the girl-child more seriously and stem the epidemic of child marriages, especially in the northern part of the country. The investment in education by developed countries must be a lesson for a developing country like Nigeria that has more than 13 million out-of-school children. There may be more Alaba Danagogos that can contribute to national development out there. The offer of scholarship to the lady by the school must be seen as both an investment and an appreciation. The investment is on behalf of humanity, the scholarship will hone her to be the best for humanity. Again, it would encourage more students to work hard enough to gain what she has gained. It is also an encouragement for both her parents and the young lady who might ordinarily have ‘chickened out’ due to paucity of funds.

Nigeria once had such scholarship schemes  for brilliant students but it does seem nepotism had crept into the system and some undeserving students are alleged to have become beneficiaries. We urge the government to revive that in its best tradition as a way of investing in training our best brains for the future.

Again, this must make the Nigerian government to invest more in education because, as we have seen over and over again, talent and brilliance are global things, and with the right infrastructure and attention to the education sector through the UN budgetary benchmark of 26 per cent, Nigeria might begin to realise its full potential through the training of our best brains in all sectors.

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Again, it is noteworthy that the young lady excelled and got the reward for her work, given the verdicts from her teachers and dean. The lady had the good environment for studies and teachers who guided and helped her succeed. The Nigerian university system has been replete with stories of some lecturers frustrating female students through sexual impropriety. Perhaps there is no worse psychological hurdle for women in schools than that of sexual harassment.

We advocate for a better education system that can root out incompetence on all sides, whether from the administrators, lecturers or students. School years must not be extended through preventable strike actions by academic and non-academic staff. We as a country must stem the sliding tide in the education sector to avoid brain drain to other countries, either by students or lecturers that can help them achieve their academic goals. The world is now ruled by ideas and technology powered by educated humans. We must not fail our future.



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