Twenty-one-year-old son of a professor in Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Lagos, Benjamin Olowu, has set a new academic record.

At the university’s last convocation event, Olowu emerged the best overall graduate with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.97, the highest since LASU was established 39 years ago.

In an interview with The Education Report, Olowu revealed how he studied and broke the university’s graduation record as a Mechanical Engineering graduate.

Who is Benjamin Olowu?

I am Olowu Damilare Benjamin, 21 years old boy, an indigene of Lagos State, from Epe Local Government. I am the second-born from a family of six. My father is a professor at the Lagos State University, while my mum is a civil servant with the Lagos State government, the Badagry divisional head at the office of the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory.

Tell us about your primary and secondary education

I did my primary school education at Saint Mary’s Nursery and Primary School, Ojo, and junior secondary education at Saint Mary’s College. I later transited to Federal Government College Ijanikin, Lagos, for my senior secondary school education. I have always been among the top 10 in all of my classes, which implies that I am more than an average student. I took my West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in 2015. And the results are:  Dyeing and Bleaching, A1; Technical Drawing, A1; Geography, A1; Physics, B2; Mathematics, B3; Chemistry, B3; Further Mathematics, B3; Civic Education, B3; English Language, C5. I wrote the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination in 2015 and I scored 228.

Did your parents influence your choice of university and course?

Not exactly. I picked University of Ilorin as my first choice and then Yaba College of Technology as my second choice. LASU was not even in the picture. When the LASU post-UTME form came out, I was reluctant on applying but my parents advised I apply, in case UNILORIN did not work out. The same goes for my choice of course as well. Well, I knew I wanted to study engineering from the outset due to my curiosity of understanding how engineering systems work in general. So, initially, I wanted to study Aeronautical Engineering but we don’t have a university in Nigeria that is well grounded in it, so I opted for Mechanical Engineering. With Mechanical Engineering, one can always switch to other fields of engineering easily for postgraduate studies.

How did you prepare for exams?

I start preparing for exams right from the beginning of the semester. I am not the type that assimilates well during rush hours (when the time of exam is close). I gather all of the materials I would need for each course and then I structure how I would prepare for the courses and then I study accordingly.

Can you describe your journey to making first class?

My journey to making first class was nothing short of hard work, discipline, sacrifice, determination, perseverance and, most importantly, the strength and grace of God. I had a perfect CGPA of 5.0 in my first year, after which I dropped in year two to a 4.94. After year three, I was on 4.96 and it was in my fourth year, that I obtained the CGPA of 4.97, which I maintained till I graduated after year five.

At what point did you realise you broke the LASU convocation record?

I realised I would be breaking the highest CGPA ever recorded in LASU in my final year. When I heard about Shotunde’s CGPA, and how he had set a new record. I was actually amazed and at the same time glad that he raised the bar so high. It actually lit a fire in me to try and come out with the highest CGPA so that I could surpass the record.

Many people still see LASU as a glorified secondary school; do you agree with this?

Not at all. LASU is not what it used to be, thanks to the Prof. Olanrewaju Adigun Fagbohu- led administration, who within five years as the vice-chancellor changed the narrative people had about LASU being a glorified secondary school to being the second best university in Nigeria in 2021, according to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking. Therefore, it is certain that LASU has grown to become a world-class citadel of learning.

Your dad is a professor; would you like to take after him as lecturer?

I am a very versatile person and I am not going to limit myself just to academia. However, I would definitely look in that direction later in the future and hope that, someday, I would eventually become a professor.

Students continue to clamour for free university education; do you think it is possible?

On a more general view, I think there are two ways to this. Quality education is very expensive and I don’t think it can be entirely free but, in contrast, there are countries such as Norway, Denmark, Finland and so on that allows student to study free of charge regardless of the level of study. So, perhaps enjoying free university education may be possible but in Nigeria I do not think it can.

With large number of candidates every year seeking for admissions, do think we need more universities?

No, I do not think we need more universities. Having more universities implies we would be producing more graduates and we know the current situation of the country in terms of the rate of unemployment. What I would advice is to continue to comb through the pool of admission seekers and admit those who meets and even surpass the requirement for admission.

LASU is non residential, so how was your social live on campus?

Apparently, the campus I had my major study was Epe campus, which happened to be a residential campus. So, socializing on campus was not a problem at all. I have friends I play video games with and I was very much involved in various sport activities, which include, football, pool ball, Basketball etc.

During the internal crises in LASU and ASUU strikes, how did you cope?

During these times I always keep myself busy either by taking up an online course or going to Youtube to improve my skills. During the COVID-19 lockdown was when I got introduced into the Foreign Exchange market and I dedicated most of my time on the Charts. So in all I always kept myself busy.

The post How I broke 39-year LASU record with 4.97 CGPA, by Olowu, best overall graduate appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

Source: news