Home Education Osun Lawmaker Offers UI Scholarship To ‘Hopeless’ Pupil Who Scored 319 In...

Osun Lawmaker Offers UI Scholarship To ‘Hopeless’ Pupil Who Scored 319 In UTME

All Ridwan Kamardeen, a 17-year-old pupil of Ataoja Government High School, Osogbo has known since coming into this world is a life of want, deprivation and hopelessness. Though an impoverished pupil, Ridwan is blessed with sound mind and a feeling of hopefulness that his hard work will one day defy his despairing state and open doors for him.
Young Ridwan, a public school pupil and an inhabitant of Oke Abesu, a neighborhood in Osogbo, notorious for all manners of crimes and considered as the most dangerous area in the state capital, rode against all odds to score 319 in the last Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination. Ridwan is the first child of a bricklayer father and fufu-selling mother, but he has suddenly become his family and school’s claim to fame.
However, after passing the last examination, the dilemma that confronted Ridwan was how to raise funds to process his admission into the University of Ibadan in Oyo State, his first choice institution, and fund his education at the school’s College of Medicine, his planned course of study. But hope smiled on Ridwan through the efforts of his school principal, Dr Taiwo Adeagbo, who had already approached some individuals in the state to seek assistance for Ridwan.
Coincidentally, a member of Osun State House of Assembly representing Ife North Constituency, Mr Tunde Olatunji, had called the principal on Tuesday, informing her of his decision to celebrate his birthday in the school with pupils and also use the occasion to mark the 16th birthday of Leah Sharibu (an abducted Dapchi schoolgirl still in Boko Haram captivity).
The lawmaker also of planned to use the opportunity to see one his adopted children, said to be in Senior Secondary School 1 at the school.
Adeagbo, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, said, “From statistics from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Ridwan has the overall third best result from a public school pupil in the last UTME. He is also the best public school pupil from Osun State in the examination.
“When I arrived in school on Monday, I summoned him to my office and two of my teachers also joined us. I was moved to tears while discussing with him how to raise money to enable him to proceed to the University of Ibadan. We are so sure that he will get admitted.
“While in Senior Secondary School 2, the boy took the General Certificate of Education examination and had eight distinctions. So with his 319 score in UTME, we were so sure the boy would be given admission to study Medicine, his first choice course.
“He has the third best result from a public school nationally, and it is the best from public schools in Osun State. JAMB used a lot of variables to determine this. They have a separate analysis for private school pupils and another for public school pupils. For the public school, the first scored 333, the second scored 326 and (Ridwan) came third with 319.
“That Monday, Ridwan was wearing his torn uniform and bad sandals. I asked him if he believed in prayers and he said yes. I told him to join his faith with mine and pray that a helper would come. I also told him I was ready to start visiting philanthropists across the state.
“For him not to waste this opportunity, I told him I was ready to visit the Ooni of Ife to plead with him to adopt the boy. The monarch has about six pupils he sponsors in my school alone.
“For him not to waste this opportunity, I told him I was ready to visit the Ooni of Ife to plead with him to adopt the boy. The monarch has about six pupils he sponsors in my school alone.
“So, when Mr Olatunji called to inform me that he wanted to come to my school the following day to celebrate his birthday and that of Leah Sharibu, I obliged him. When the lawmaker came to my office after cutting the cake and taking pictures, I felt the urge to mention the plight of Ridwan to him and I did eventually. After listening to me, Mr Olatunji simply asked to see him and I summoned Ridwan to my office.
“After some minutes of interaction, Mr Olatunji gave me N10,000 to buy a new school uniform and sandals for him because he was in tatters. Then he promised to sponsor the boy to the university. I was speechless and could not hold back tears. He also invited Ridwan to his birthday dinner that evening.”
Speaking with our correspondent, Ridwan said despite the uncertainty over his ambition to study Medicine in the university, he was encouraged to stay positive after speaking with his principal.
Asked how he got books to prepare for the examination, Ridwan said while in SS1, he got a scholarship worth N15,000 from an old student of his school, Mr Kola Ojo.
“Though I had many needs at the time, I decided to spend the money on books. I bought the basic books I knew I would need for both UTME and GCE. I read all the books for the two examinations. I got eight distinctions in GCE last year and scored 319 in UTME. I started reading for the two examinations from when I was in SS1.
“I have always believed in hard work and obedience to authority. I also believe God answers prayers. My principal was ready to start begging around to raise funds and ensure I don’t waste this opportunity. I will work harder so as not to disappoint her and my sponsor (Olatunji),” Ridwan said.
Ridwan’s father, Kamardeen, said despite being a poor man, he teaches his children the virtues of dedication and hard work.
“My elder brother saw a picture of Ridwan shaking hands with the lawmaker (Olatunji) on Facebook and brought it to me. He was even congratulating me, but I told him I didn’t understand what he was talking about.
“I told him I was about to go out to look for Ridwan. When he showed me the pictures on Facebook, I was overjoyed. We could not locate the place where the birthday dinner was taking place.
“When he wanted to take GCE examination last year, I had to borrow some money from one of my clients. I got the money to pay for my son’s GCE examination from him. I didn’t pay him back, but I worked for him in return.
“When Ridwan told me he wanted to take UTME examination, I could not raise the money. I approached money lenders to borrow some money from them but the least amount they were willing to give me was N20,000 at almost 40 per cent interest rate. I didn’t need up to that and I could not get someone that would share the money and the liability with me.
“I have a customer, Baba Abdullahi. He is a teacher in Ede. He advised that I should not create a bigger problem for myself by borrowing in an attempt to solve a small problem. He eventually gave me the money and we paid for the examination. I am a bricklayer. I have five children and Ridwan is my first child. We live from hand to mouth, but even in that situation, I always impress it on my children to be dedicated and obedient,” Oyedeji said.
When contacted, Olatunji said he could not ignore Ridwan’s case after listening to his story. He commended the school principal for playing the role of a mother to her pupils, while urging people to be inspired by Ridwan’s story to help the needy.
“I have my insatiable needs too but I would not have forgiven myself if I had not taken that action. I never imagined the matter would become something of interest to the media but to inspire people to help, it is worth celebrating it.
“I even told the boy when I first met him that he was better than me in secondary school because I had seven distinctions and he had eight. That principal is more than a teacher to her students. She is a mother to them. Imagine a government worker putting it upon herself to raise money to finance the education of another person’s child.
“I also see responsible parenting in Ridwan’s parents. Even in their state, they still teach their child good virtues. I will personally monitor the boy,” Olatunji said.
However, when contacted, Head, Media and Information, JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said he could not confirm if Ridwan has the third best result from a public school nationally. “I can’t confirm it, this thing will take a long time to check because the exam was conducted across the country and there were so many candidates. Whoever gave you that information, I don’t know where they got it from,” he said.
Previous articleNobody Can Govern Oyo Without Stepping On Toes — Ajimobi Urges Support For Makinde
Next articleAjimobi And The Politics Of Memorializing By Naming | Festus Adedayo


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here