“In the medical school, women are assumed to be serious and less distracted compared to men. For me, I never saw my gender as a barrier rather as a strength and I got the necessary encouragement I needed as such I wasn’t afraid of the male counterpart.” In my dream in life, I have always yearned to be great, to help people and to find solutions to health problems and challenges that people encounter. “I realised very early in life also that human life is sacred and most noble endeavour to embark upon is saving lives, and I am glad I was able to take that bold step.”
With these words 24-year-old medical graduate of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Olaiya AarinolaBlessing, attributedheracademic prowess and performance to God, hard work, dedication and her focus on her academic work. Olaiya has proved that what a man can do, a woman can do better as she broke the 28-year the university’s record in the just released Final MBChB in Surgery and Medicine with 13 Distinctions in Surgery and Medicine, and 17 awards.
On her academic performance, Olaiya, whose father is a lawyer and mother, a retired head-teacher, hinted that her dedication to her academics had gone a long way to help her academic exploit, even as she recalled that the manifestation of the excellent spirit in her started quite early in life, when she won her first scholarship in Primary Four as the best pupil among her colleagues.
She recounted: “I later graduated from primary school as the best student in 2003 and I proceeded to the Federal Government Girls’ College, Efon-Alaaye, Ekiti State for my secondary school education between 2003 and 2009, where during my sojourn through the college I remained focused and dedicated to my studies.
“For my brilliance, I was appointed Assistant Head Girl and carted away 22 prizes. I was also presented with the award of the most versatile student by the school Principal. And, from there I secured admission to study medicine in 2011 at OAU, where I subsequently graduated with 13 distinctions.”
The third child of family four, Olaiya said she is a firm believer in Jesus Christ, her hobbies are reading, traveling, listening to music and cooking. Olaiya, who declined comments on her love and social life style, as well as her area of specialisation in medical field, said “I plan to further my education and be of great relevance to my country.” Olaiya, who hails from Usin- Ekiti in Ikole Local Government of Ekiti State, said: “I never saw her gender as a barrier, but rather as strength.”
The student, who will be the cynosure of all eyes at the forthcoming graduation of the university, billed for December this year, however, added: “I believe our abilities and capabilities are independent of our gender. A woman can do as much as a man if she is encouraged and motivated.” “Apart from these, I got the necessary encouragement I needed and I was not afraid of my male counterparts,” she had told New Telegraph in an email.
To lead the pack, Olaiya obtained Distinction in Medical Biochemistry and Medical Physiological Sciences in Part Three First MBChB Examination; while in Part Four Second MBChB Examination, she obtained Distinction in Pathology, Distinction in Pharmacology and Distinction in CLI); Part Five Third MBChB Examination (Distinction in Dermatology and Venerology, Distinction in Mental Health and Distinction in Obestrics and Gynecology); Part Six Final MBChB Examination Result (Distinction in Surgery, Distinction in Medicine and Distinction in Community Health). While confirming Olaiya’s outstanding academic performance, the Public Relations Officer for the university, Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, described her as “a good advertisement of the Obafemi Awolowo University academic standing and well-developed curricula,” which according to him had been designed to deliver the best university education in all spheres.
“What Aarinola Olaiya has done is a good testimony and advertisement of the quality of curriculum we deliver at OAU,” he noted, saying the university is training its students with the best and modern technology that applies in the world. While congratulating the student, Olarewaju hinted that for her intellectual exploit and academic prowess, Olaiya is a worthy ambassador of the university and a symbol of the high level of academic excellence parade by the ivory tower and its products.
He pointed out that OAU, as a leading university in the country, has become a cynosure of all eyes, given its academic standing, saying: “The type of training we give our students is the best in quality and in tune with global standards.”
Olarewaju, who recalled how an alumnus of the university, Dr. Oluyinka Olutoye, recently performed a groundbreaking surgery at the Texas Children’s Hospital in the United States. Olutoye, one of the 22 doctors removed sacrococcygeal teratoma, a rare tumor that appears at the base of a baby’s tailbone and returned the child to the mother’s womb, while 12 weeks after that unprecedented operation, the baby was born normally. According to the university spokesman, that rare feat further shows the quality academic curricular and nature of how the ivory tower trains its students across all faculties and departments.
“The university will not relent on its oars to offer the best form of education in terms of quality and standard,” he added, insisting that Olaiya with her best record has become the best of the best.