The 2008 set of alumni of the Department of Linguistics, African and Asian Studies, University of Lagos, has kept the dream of an indigent student alive by awarding him a scholarship worth N150,000.
The awardee, Peter Adeniran, a 21-year-old student of the department, said during the presentation ceremony organised by the department that he was overwhelmed by the gesture, as it came when he least expected.
He promised not to disappoint members of alumni for believing in him.
According to him, he could not ballot for a bed space, as payment of the fees was a requisite for balloting.
“I had already zeroed my mind to drop from school because help was not coming from anywhere, and so, there was no hope of continuing with my studies,” he said.
He said the gesture would be part of the history of his life journey and wil be indelible.
“I finished my year one and suddenly, as we were about to resume this session, management of the institution reviewed the obligatory fees upward and I was not expecting it.
“I was hoping that as usual, as a self-sponsored student, I would go out and struggle and be able to pay my fees on time.
“So, I kept wondering what next to do, to meet up with the payment of my new fees and be able to go ahead and register my courses and take care of other issues.
“I had even gotten to the extent of discussing with my course adviser about my plight, before the close of registration of courses for the semester. While we were on all these, suddenly, I got a call from her that I needed to come over to school and see her and here we are,” he said.
A lecturer in the department, Dr. Adedoyin Eleshin, said Adeniran’s story was touching, adding that he was selected after a thorough screening exercise was carried out among other indigent students in the department.
As a 300 level students’ course adviser, she said she was delegated by the head of department to do the screening, together with the course adviser of the 200 level students, to identify the most indigent student, as requested by the group.
“When we carried out the individual screening among the indigent students, we discovered indeed that there was no hope for him, as he had no one one to help out.
“He came to Lagos all the way from Oyo all alone in 2019, to hustle for a better life, with no family member to stay with.
“He kept doing menial jobs to survive and pay his way through the 100 level. As we speak, he lives with the elder brother of a friend, at Ikorodu.
“Now he does transcription and translation, as well as proof reading, among others. His current GPA is 4.50 and that is a first class in the 200 level that he is. If he should continue in that manner, he will graduate with a first class,” she said.
The Chairman, Reunion Committee 2023, of the alumni set, Mr. Tunde Oladipo, said the gesture was part of activities lined up for the get together.
He said the set deemed it an obligation to give back to the society by coming to the rescue of an indigent but academically sound student.
“We have just given a kind of encouragement to Adeniran because as it were, there was no hope of him paying is his fees for the session. With his current CGP of 4.50, we cannot afford to see such brain waste.
“All we want is for him to show more dedication and commitment to his studies, so that it will encourage us as a group to do more by our next year’s reunion.
“We will continue to monitor his academic progress to ensure that he remains on the right course,” Oladipo said.
The Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof. Ilupeju Mudasiru, described the gesture as a welcome development that is worthy of emulation, considering the fact that the department is the least in the faculty, in terms of number of students.
He said the gesture is also in line with the vice-chancellor’s appeal for assistance for indigent students of the university and her commitment to ensure that none of them drops out of school.
“I must commend this set of 2008, for thinking along this line. I guess this is just the beginning of greater things to come. If this department that is the smallest in terms of number in the faculty could do this, I am sure other departments too will like to do something even bigger in scope, and soon, it could become a thing of competition among other departments.
“It will now be on us to institutionalise it, create alumni day, so that all of them can give back to their respective faculties,” he said.