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Understanding Healthy Competition Among Students - ETCSINES

We have been saddled with an objective; to understand the concept of healthy reading competition amongst students. I will help us achieve this by presenting a fictional narrative. 

Aderonke and Nkem were amongst the top students in the 2004 graduating set of Federal Government Girls College, Oghara in Delta State. They have both achieved the standard of 5 Credit passes in their Senior School certificate Examinations, they actually passed all their subjects with distinctions. Their bond of friendship had grown in leaps and bounds when they found themselves in their school's literary and debating society and also as members of the reading club coordinated by their literature teacher; Mrs. Ejiroghene Okotieboh, who was a Sunday school teacher in The Presbyterian Church of Oghara and a lover of children.

Aderonke and Nkem had grown used to asking each other about their progress and how many topics were left to be covered, they finished reading and treating the syllabus of subjects for 3rd term even by middle of the second term while undergoing their secondary education, they 
actually enjoyed challenging each other. They were further united by the fact that they both wanted to study law and become legal practitioners. When the results for the Joint Admission And Matriculation Board (JAMB) exams were released, they however got admission into different Universities in Nigeria. Aderonke was admitted into the prestigious Faculty of law, Universityof Ibadan, Oyo State to study law while Nkem got admission into the esteemed Faculty of law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile - Ife, in Osun State.

When the hassles of registration, Medical assessment and Matriculation were over, they settled into the business of lectures, tutorials , Moot and Mock trials and also community service in their respective universities. They shared similar course content for the 100 level since both were federal universities. 
They continued their usual reading challenges, one of which was to see the first person to read 5 fictional novels in a semester, this was extracurricular and it was done in their leisure time, they cross checked the validity of each others achievement by asking questions from the books read at random.

They also gave themselves academic challenges. For the 1st semester 100 level law, they only offered one law course which was ; ' Introduction to legal methods' . They had similar textbooks, so they gave themselves the assignment of the first person to finish the topic; ' sources of Nigerian Law'. This challenge mandated that they had to read at least for an hour everyday and understand the 
subtopics, they agreed that the first to finish will be rewarded by the other person with a Recharge card voucher of their choice valued 500 Naira; the Nigerian legal tender. They had won these challenges alternately and did not carry a sense of bitterness when they did not emerge winners, their consensus was that even the person that did not win was a winner because she was 
adding value to herself.

This attitude also spurred them to establish Reading clubs in their respective universities and they represented their faculties in many competitions and won many laurels. Aderonke graduated from University Of Ibadan in 2011, with the first ever first class grade from the Faculty of law and proceeded to the Nigerian Law school Abuja campus where she emerged the Best Student in Civil Procedure, Legal drafting and Conveyance and also the law of evidence and finished with a strong Second Class upper grade. 
She presently lectures in University of Cumbria, United Kingdom where she went for her Masters in Maritime Law and was immediately afterwards made an assistant lecturer.

Nkem graduated from University of Ife in 2012 after her studies was protracted by student unrest, She graduated with a very strong Second Class upper degree and won the prestigious Prof. Ijalaye award for the best student in Jurisprudence and proceeded to the Lagos campus of the 
Nigerian law school where she emerged with the first ever first class grade at the Nigerian law school. 

She proceeded to Harvard University in the United States of America for her Masters in law, she is presently an Associate at Stokes & Kimberly; a reputable law firm in Essex, United Kingdom. Their stories appear like fairy tales, but it all started from the simple willingness to accept a challenge to read, not because exams were at the corner or there was going to be a test in a few days, but because they discovered that reading made them ready and prepared, it boosted their confidence and gave them the courage to express themselves.

Our time has come, it is our turn to take up the baton and start an healthy challenge, read a book today and challenge your friend to do the same and surely the sky will be your limit. 

I remain Tola Arawomo
Thank you.

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