By Funmi Ogundare
It was celebration all the way at Bridge International Academies Anibaba, Ikorodu, as one of its pupils, Master Shiji Sowemimo, 11, performed exceptionally well in the country’s national common entrance examination.
He scored a total of 190 marks, out of 200. His achievement is even more remarkable as he comes from one of the more impoverished areas of Lagos and was also raised by a single mother.
Speaking at the brief ceremony, Showemimo attributed his success to the support he got from his mother, teachers and school, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“I continued reading and preparing for my exams with the remote learning materials provided by my school during the school closure,” he said, adding, “with the remote learning materials, I remembered everything that I was taught in the classroom and was able to learn new things.”
His performance in the exam has set him on the path to greatness and has given him the opportunity to attend one of the prestigious secondary schools in the country.
Sowemimo, whose hobbies include reading, fact finding and playing the keyboard, described his childhood as wonderful, saying that his mother always bought educational toys and books that helped him and his brother, Shayo to learn new things.
When asked what his favourite school subject is, his response wasn’t far-fetched, “I like maths and science because I learn about matter and how other properties interact.”
Speaking about what he would miss about his school, he said “I will miss the style of teaching, the character board, cheers and energisers that make teaching and learning fun.”
His favourite teacher is Mrs. Enitan Adewusi. He said he likes her because she teaches well and goes the extra mile in ensuring that the pupils understand everything being taught in the classroom.
He advised every young person to put God first, read their books always and read ahead of the class lesson, play when necessary and always remain focused.
He hopes to become a physicist in future to find unknown answers to questions that would lead to inventions that would benefit everyone in the world.
His mother, Ms. Perpetual said her sons have a corner in their home where they keep equipment like speakers, batteries, light bulbs, spoilt lamps, magnets, spoilt radio, among others, which they usually dismantle to see the components in them and after reading about how those equipment are made, they would re-assemble them.
“I noticed from when they were much younger that they were inquisitive and like learning new things, so I encouraged them to the best of my ability by allowing them to explore and satisfy their curiosity.
“The joy of every parent is to see their children excel, I am grateful to God for giving me the strength and wisdom to support my children and I am proud and happy for what Shiji has been able to accomplish.”
Sowemimo said she discovered Bridge International Academies through a friend and immediately enrolled her sons in one of the Bridge schools in Ikorodu.
“I wanted my sons to attend a school that would give them the solid foundation required to achieve great things in future.”
The Academics Director at Bridge Lagos, Mrs. Rhoda Odigboh said: “Our teachers must take some credit for the success of their pupils. The learning gains evidenced at Bridge is as a result of the dedication, passion and hard work by our teachers who are at the heart of our mission of delivering a life-changing education for children.”
“The success our children have achieved in the national exam shows what Bridge has always believed that every Nigerian child can excel if given the right opportunities, supportive teachers and empowering schools.”
While at Bridge, she said Shiji was the class prefect in primary four and the head boy of the school in primary five and six, and had the duty of teaching others to behave well.
“He helped the teacher with collecting books and keeping the classroom in order. He learnt how to be responsible and care for others.”