Miss Tolulope Falokun, an indigene of Ondo State, has emerged the overall best candidate in the 2011 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations. The Ondo State government recently organised a befitting reception at her Alma Mater, St. Louis Secondary School. Tolulope, 17, who had distinctions (A1) in all the nine subjects, was praised by her principal, teachers, non-academic staff and selected pupils of the school present at the reception. BABATOPE OKEOWO reports.
It is no longer news that Miss Tolulope Janet Falokun was the overall best student in the West Africa School Certificate Examination Council (WASCE), result released recently. What is however interesting is the situation that threw her up and the accolades that have greeted the feat achieved by the 17 year-old girl.
Apart from the scholarship which the Ondo State government has granted her to study law at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, other education loving citizens of the Sunshine state have been congratulating the child, her school and parents.
Interestingly, Tolulope born into the family of Mr Samuel and Mrs Dolapo Falokun attended public secondary school. Tolu gained admission to St. Louis Secondary School, Ondo in 2005 and was among the best five students on the school’s admission list that year.
During her studentship, she got many awards notably the ANCOPSS National Quiz competition where she came first; she also came first in the Ekimogun Essay Competition of December, 2010. A proof of it is in the 2010 Ondo State calenda. Tolu had all As in the JSS State Exams in 2008.
She also came first in several inter school competitions and was the senior prefect of her school, St Loius Secondary School, Ondo. Her younger sister, Ibukun, now in SSSII, is currently the senior prefect of the all female school.
Elated by the result, the examination body WAEC wrote a letter commending the State government for the feat achieved by Tolulope in the examination. The body in a letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary in the state ministry of education and signed by Mr. Austin Aidokha on behalf of the Head of WAEC National office in Nigeria, described Falokun’s result as unique among its peers in the sub region.
The letter, a copy which was made available to reporters in Ondo township explained that another candidate, Mr. Chuks Ezike Falokun also scored distinctions (A1) in nine subjects with a T-score analysis of 712.0972 but that Falokun emerged the best with a T-analysis of 742.6992.
The school was not left out in celebrating the unique result of the student as they rolled out drums to celebrate her.. The school principal Mrs. Evelyn Olajoke Akindojutimi, said the school, established in January1954, about 58 years ago was initially owned by the Catholic before it was taken over by the government. She said the school has been noted for its high standard of discipline and good results in examinations and academic. According to her, Tolu Falokun registered for the WASCE as a boarding student from her JSS 1 to SSS 3.
Analysis of the schools’ 2011 result showed that none of the 146 students that sat for the exam failed English language, Physics, Geography, Chemistry, Literature in English, Christian Religious Knowledge, Financial Accounting, Typing, Further mathematics, Visual Art, Food and Nutrition, Home management, Agricultural Science, Technical Drawing, Commerce; while it recorded 97 percent pass in mathematics, 90 percent in Economics, 98 percent in Yoruba language, and 92 percent in Government.
Tolu’s father, a civil engineer said he enrolled Tolu in the school because it is Catholic school with high standard. Teachers are well dedicated and disciplined. He said he hired a private teacher for her when she was in the primary school. He added that he paid N30, 000 as boarding house fee for Tolu every term and that no other fee was being collected from them.
Tolu’s counselor Mrs. Cecilia Bello said Tolu was always reading, always in the library, active and responsible student. Her words “She is not afraid of challenges. She love teaching her juniors and even mates. She is good in all subjects. She is not proud. She is responsible and best in everything.
Similarly, a Russian, Mrs Ludmila Adeyemi who married a Nigerian was Tolu’s principal in JSS 1. She has this to say “When I saw the type of girl she is, I decided to give her the best I could. She got A1 in all her subjects in the JSS exams. We prayed so that her result would not be seized by WAEC because it was too good.
An elated Tolu thanked her teacher and parents for what she was able to achieve in the examination. Her words “Since there are only two terms for the final year students, my teachers work tirelessly and selflessly from 8:00am to 5:30pm everyday of the week to make sure that the WAEC syllabi were completed before the end of February. Thereafter they would start revision from SS1 work.
“Our teacher prepared us early for the exams. We started special lectures everyday more than four months into the exams because we had covered our syllabus since first term SSIII. My Government teacher designed a timetable for me which I followed religiously to make sure that I covered all my subjects. Our teachers also set up study groups for us and I did not miss any of these arrangements.
“I prayed hard, work hard, using my timetable as a guide. I denied myself of a lot of things especially social events. I made the sacrifice because I know there is ample time for all that after my education. I use to have a Ghanaian teacher who is very good in English language and Mathematics and he really thought me well when I was in the primary school.
“I go for lessons during holidays and I am always reading even during festivities like Christmas and Easter. I want to become a lawyer. I really want to write a lot of law books because I love writing and reading.
“My greatest challenge was when everybody including my teachers were expressing fears that my result could be seized by WAEC because of my performance in mock exams. My parents and siblings joined me in prayers and fasting so that the result will not be seized by WAEC. Thank God it was not seized.”
The Commissioner for Education in the state, Mr. Remi Olatubora, on his own described the achievement of Falokun as the justification and evidence of the Governor Olusegun Mimiko administration’s radical intervention in the education sector in the last three years.
He noted that the development had also underscored the need for a massive investment in the sector which the present government had exhibited with the construction of modern public primary schools across the state.
His words “Tolulope Falokun’s brilliant performance is the first fruit of our huge and massive investment in the educational sector in the last three years. We are creating unparalleled conducive environment for our pupils and teachers.”
He explained that Tolulope, who had already been awarded scholarship to study law at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, would enjoy a special financial support from the state government for as long as she remained in the academic line.
Apart from the full scholarship, Olatubora said the awardee would also benefit from the State’s Government’s annual Bursaries and Scholarships and other packages provided for Law students both at the University and the Law School by the State Government.
In addition, he said the lady will be given N100, 000 yearly throughout her university education and that the amount would be reviewed upward whenever she is ready for her post-graduate programme. The Commissioner described the event as a very important occasion designed to recognize the outstanding performance of the student who recorded A1 in all the nine subjects she offered in the examinations.
To demonstrate her brilliance, Olatubora said Falokun scored 290 in the year 2011 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and emerged the second overall best student in the Post-UTME conducted by the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile –Ife with 336 marks.