YOU ARE LUCKY TO BE AN IJMBITE — THIS IS MY STORY

Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo

As a secondary school student, I usually perform below average. Despite going to one of the best secondary schools at that time (a unity school), my performance was usually at the edge. It is either I get marks that will just be enough to save me from repeating a class or become a beneficiary of cut-off mark adjustment by the school management.

After secondary school, I was immediately enrolled for IJMB at the College of Education, Ilorin so as not to be idle while waiting for university admission. That later became one of the best schooling decisions that were made for me as it became a turning point for my academic journey.

As I wished to become an Engineer despite my poor math background, I enrolled for Maths, Chemistry, and Physics subject combination at IJMB. Note that I was never a student of further maths at school.

So, the journey began. The first thing I noticed was the hospitality of our lecturers at that time. They were approachable and welcoming. It was a different learning experience for me. Thanks to them, especially the math teachers, I saw it as an opportunity to sit up and face my studies squarely.

Gradually, I begin to notice an improvement in my performance in the class and that encourages me to do even more. Not long, I became a go-to person for explanation and academic discussions.

However, this does not come by magic. It is a result of a combination of many factors such as a conducive learning environment, friendly and approachable teachers, and more importantly hard work and prayers — and I mean real hard work. Let me tell you a bit about it.

We went along very well with our math and chemistry classes but we had a bit of an issue with Physics class. I and a few of my classmates went ahead to register for a tutorial on our own. Guess what, the tutorial commences at 10 pm in the night and ends at around 4 am. We will go at 8 pm, sleep at the center, and commence the class at 10 pm. All of these were to ensure we get good points that will take us to the university through direct entry.

I also remember how we will leave school and go to the University of Ilorin mini campus library to read overnight. Aside from other reading and extra commitments.

I graduated with a 10 point and got admission into 200 L into the Federal University of Technology, Minna the same year.

One stunning thing about IJMB is the quality and richness of the curriculum. Some of my notes were still useful even up to 400 L physics class. I remember I gave one of my math notes to my 100 L roommate which he used to study for a math course.

Another thing you can’t take away from IJMB is how it prepares you for the university’s academic rigor and life on campus.

I remember making up my mind at that time that my children will also pass through this system if the quality remains the same.

I however recommend that anyone desirous to study medicine, engineering and related course in the university should start with IJMB. You won’t lose anything. If the system remains the same, you will only ‘lose’ 6 months as I did mine for 18 months and gained admission into 200L. That 6 months extra sacrifice eventually paid off big time.

Did I tell you that we had colleagues who wrote JAMB in the middle of their IJMB journey and made as high as 300 scores and move straight to the university? Yes, IJMB was that rich. Your brain will reset and you begin to climb the academic height.

Finally, if you are in the program already, consider yourself lucky. I am pretty sure that if you are diligent, you will also experience all the benefits I mentioned and even more.

Good luck

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Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo

Abdulrafiu Arikewuyo is a teacher and a writer. On a mission to change the school model.