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Monday 31 August 2020

Reading and Studying

Reading and Studying

As  students,  the  first  thing  that  comes  to  mind  as  the  birther  of  excellence  is  reading. But unfortunately, reading is but just a very tiny part of what it requires to get academic excellence.  In  fact,  reading  is  the  tiniest-tiniest  aspect  of  the  drive  towards  academic excellence. I hope you noticed I've not used the term “study” all the while? Yes, I've not; and it’s because I really want to clear the myth that reading is the primary requirement to excel in the academics.

I  tell  you  verily,  reading  is  only  an  eye  opener;  it  doesn’t  and  cannot  do  more  than opening your eyes, and when we say reading only opens the eyes, I say that to mean reading gets you informed, and  that’s all.  However,  when you are more  than informed, when  your mind  is  worked  and  stirred,  and  you  yourself  are  tasked  and  charged  to  want  to  know more, that is when we can say studying has taken over from mere reading.

Only studying charges the mind, reading cannot; reading cannot get beyond opening the eyes,  but  it  is  studying  that  opens  the  mind  and  does  more  to  it  than  reading  can  do.  In fact,  you  can  read  a  thing  this  minute  and  forget  about  it  the  same  minute  you  read  it; that's  how  much  reading  is  never  that  connected  with  the  mind.  I’ve not written this to cause any misconception of the terms "reading" and "studying", but rather to stir your mind to  knowing  the  difference  between  the  two;  as  well  as  knowing  what  you  are  doing  really when you’ve gotten your eyes on some letters, words or images. As a student of higher learning—for instance, so much more is expected of you than just having your eyes opened; the mind has to open too, to follow the eyes opening. And that—in fact—is when we can be referred to as educated; and that’s very far beyond being literate.  Getting  academic  excellence  apart  now,  being  a  student  is  not  complete  lest  there  is studying.  Do we even need to go over that?  Like, is it not very  obvious  already,  that studying is what you do when you are a student—that’s your occupation!

The  bottom-line  is:  when  you  aim  to  excel,  there  has  to  be  preparation,  and  your preparation has to be studying via all means, and not just reading. Reading is too not-that-connected-with-the-mind to help you excel.

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Monday 24 August 2020


Blasting OAU Post-UTME

This is a kind of article I write every time OAU Post-UTME is forthcoming—which is always around this time of the year. I write this kind of article just so it helps someone prepare for the exam. Even now that Covid-19 his holding everything down this year, it’d feel somehow if this article is not published, as it’s an annual culture already. But all well and good, it’s still okay that there will soon be the time when the applicants of OAU will be writing the Post-UTME eventually, and they will be needing the REAL clues on how to REALLY blast OAU Post-UTME.

Talking of blasting OAU Post-UTME, you know, it sounds funny to me that almost everyone of the candidates are always thinking they are capable of blasting OAU Post-UTME like it’s not even an exam—courtesy all the past questions on OAU Post-UTME they have tackled and trashed. They think OAU Post-UTME is the simplest in the world, because all the questions asked are questions that are very easy to relate to. Even the tutors too, and the past questions, they are always making their students and readers (respectively) feel too confident over “blasting” the Post-UTME. But in the end, after the results are released, the news is always the same: “oh, there is mass failure”, and I'm always like, shut up! You failed! That should be the concern, not how many people failed. Forgive my bluntness, but that’s the truth. No matter how much “mass failure” we have, there must be people who indeed blasted the Post-UTME; why can’t you be one of those people? That’s the question I ask candidates who give excuses to justifier their failure.

Now, though I may not be able to help you find answers to the question of why a person can fail the Post-UTME, but I can spur you to thinking your way to finding the answers to the question. This is what I tell my students I tutor in preparation for the OAU Post-UTME before getting deeper in the tutoring; I tell them OAU does not place you under her Post-UTME just to test if you know a thing or not; OAU knows you know something. If you do not know something then you wouldn’t have passed the UTME to be qualified for the Post-UTME. This is it, no matter how you passed the UTME to qualify to write OAU Post-UTME, you couldn’t have passed it if you were a total numskull. Even if na cheat you cheat to pass the UTME, it must be you cheated your cheating with sense, and that’s almost what testing you with UTME is all about—wanting to know if you have what it takes to be in a higher institution. It’s JAMB’s job to test you—with the UTME—if you know the things that’ll prove that you are worthy of being in a higher institution, but it’s OAU’s job to test you—with the Post-UTME—if you are worthy of being in OAU. This makes OAU concern herself in testing how certain you would still be of what you know if you were placed in a situation that would confuse you on what you know.

Let me be practical so you understand this better. JAMB—via the UTME—tests if you know a thing; that’s why JAMB can ask in the UTME questions like “As used in the sentence above, what does trick mean?” and provide options like: (A) deceive (B) dialogue (c) communicate (D) all of the above. But OAU only concerns herself with testing your certainty of what you know, that’s why they can ask in the Post-UTME questions like “Which of these is correctly spelt?” and provide options like: (A) manouvre (B) manouver (C) maneuver (D) maneuvre. This kind of question is not testing if you know how to spell maneuver, it’s rather testing if you can still know how to spell maneuver even when you are distracted. And believe me, if I had not stated the correct spelling of maneuver after asking the question, the tendencies are high you would have chosen the wrong option if you were left to answer the question above—even though you are so familiar with the word maneuver. This is why many of the OAU Post-UTME candidates fail the exam woefully—they are always thinking the exam is more or less like any other exam; but the reality is: OAU's Post-UTME is not just any exam, it’s the exam that will prove to you that everything you think you know are not really known—if you are not careful.

Mentioning the word ‘careful’ makes it necessary that I also mention that when it comes to OAU Post-UTME, the next thing after knowing a thing is being careful when you are called to present what you know. If you are not careful with OAU Post-UTME, yours truly, you will be trashed! You will be trashed no matter how brilliant and expert-at-guessing-right you are.

Now, how do you avoid being overconfident and yet falling into OAU’s Post-UTME mousetrap? Simple! Don’t let the cheese on the trap trip you. What’s the cheese? The cheese is how OAU makes her Post-UTME questions look so cheap and yet people who fall for it fail the cheap questions woefully. This has always been my advice to OAU Post-UTME candidates: be prepared for whatever, be informed by all means, and be careful when it is just you and the tricky questions and options with the very short flying time allocated to you to attempt the questions. People who ace the Post-UTME are aware of these things, that’s why they score unbelievably high in the exam. You can score high too, just know what you are doing, and avoid being carried away by your over-sized confident over blasting the Post-UTME; It’s as simple as that.

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Monday 17 August 2020


What the Blogs are Saying About Post-UTME

I’ve been receiving calls and messages from jambites and parents to talk about what they heard/read about the 2020/2021 Post-UTME; this is ignited by what they are seeing on the internet about schools already selling their Post-UTME form or something like that. Which is why this blog has to be published to explain how information like this get on the internet, and to also tell the facts about the 2020/2021 session Post-UTME.

Let me state it clearly that no school anywhere in Nigeria is selling their Post-UTME form as at this month. The private schools—because many of them have managed to continue their academic session online—might be planning on their post-UTME already, but they are not selling yet. And talking about the sales of Post-UTME forms, it can’t even be the government schools that are right now on almost 100% shutdown. So in straighter words: no federal or state higher educational institution is selling any Post-UTME form right now. There might be planning on how it’s going to be conducted, but no, they are not selling the forms yet. The authorities of OAU for instance are already making plans on how the Post-UTME would be conducted, but that doesn’t mean they are already selling the forms or they are even ready to conduct the screening anytime soon.

These information about admission processing you see on many of these lazy bloggers’ websites are mostly write-ups lifted from somebody else’s website (they come on here too to lift write-ups), and most of the times they lift these write-ups, they really don’t have the full details on the information in the write-ups. Also, sometimes, these information you see on their platforms can also be their own old posts they just have to publish or promote again just for clouts or to generate large number of click-views for their website. It wouldn’t matter whether the information they are passing is correct with time, so long it is what people need and want to read something about, they just publish it.

So when you read these write-ups and adverts—especially about admission processing at undergraduate and postgraduate levels on the internet, the first thing you want to know is, who published this information? The list of educational bloggers you can trust for original and prompt admission information is very short. So be careful so you are not misled or caused to panic over what’s not even there. The team of Pathfinders Edu Consultancy wishes you the best of luck in your endeavors. Have a good week.

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Thursday 13 August 2020


Why Has OAU Not Verified Your Evaluated Transcripts?

If it is true that employers do send request for verification of certificates or/and results to schools to confirm that the documents are genuine before they give employment or before they staff an employed person, then I'm wondering how many people would have lost so many opportunities just because OAU is their school and the school refuses to attend to their verification for months, years, or even never attend to it. I say this because I’ve seen how alumni of OAU whose transcripts have been evaluated, and the evaluation body has sent a request to OAU to verify the evaluation, but OAU refuses to respond to the request because the concerned alumnus or institution has not done something the school requires of them—the requirement that would not be communicated to them.

What amuses me about this is how the verification process is supposed to be the simplest thing to do, as it’s just a matter of sending a mail or stamping some papers, and how the school and her staffs are making it look like it’s the most impossible thing to do. I have the thought that this is happening because of two things: OAU is very backward when it comes to communicating with her students and alumni, and the staffs are mostly people who are not orientated on the importance of every document and the need to attend to any one document that needs to be attended to as at when it needs to be attended to. In fact apart from the analogue style of administration and secretariat that OAU is stuck with, the two factors mentioned up there are two more problems delaying everything that has to do with documents processing in OAU—any document at all.

Well, to us at PEC, we believe every problem caused by anybody or any institution can be solved by somebody somehow, and we always like to be the team solving any OAU-related document problem you may be having. Contact us on +2348139534187 today so we get on relieving you of the stress; this is what we do.

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Sunday 9 August 2020


The 20/21 Admission and the 21/20 Admission: What Might End Up Happening

Time after time, our higher educational institutions’ academic calendar collectively (as a country) experiences some kind of shock that would define what would happen to the admission processes of the current session or the next session, and also the time such admission processes would happen, and how they would happen; a good example of this shock is the incessant ASUU strike that’s always popping up all of a sudden. The shock becomes oftener when it’s all pinned down to some particular schools in Nigeria, and when it is finally pinned down to OAU, such shock cannot not be expected almost every session. But this time around, it can be said that what caused the shock in the education system is understandable—the power of a pandemic is a serious power. 

But after the pandemic has taken over one semester from the higher institutions and still counting, should the schools be called to resume anytime soon and the admission session activated again after it has been deactivated just about immediately after JAMB conducted the 2020/2021 UTME, what would happen to the admission session and possibly the one coming after it? What would happen to the admission seekers and their admissions? Here is what my 10 years in the educational consultancy services can help me predict, and what my experience that’s peculiar to OAU can help me predict about what would happen to 2020/21 admission session and also likely to affect the 2021/2022 admission session.

By now, it is safe to start thinking—should the school resume anytime this year—most higher institution will end up not conducting the Post-UTME on their applicants in form of a test; they would only screen and analyze the candidates’ credentials and results and offer them admission based on the result of the analysis or deny them of it. The reason for these would be because the applicants have been out of academic activities for a very long time, and the psychological part of education frowns against conducting some sort of promotional test on any student that has been switched off from the processes of learning the needs for such promotional test for a very long time. So the schools would have to wait for a while after resumption (if they really want to conduct a test by all means, so the candidates can recuperate), or they would just go ahead and employ other means of offering admission based on the credentials the applicants already possess.

When such case described above is pinned down to OAU, it’s most likely that OAU will make the applicants pay for the Post-UTME screening and just analyze their papers and conduct their admission selections based on that, OAU has done this a couple of times in the past few years, and it is always because of the fact that the school is still lagging behind with one whole academic session from the series of long strikes that happened in 2007 and 2013/2014. In fact, OAU just started the 2019/2020 session when schools had to shut down for Covid-19, and the 2020/2021 admission process was ripe enough for schools to start working on them. Contrary to what many people would think, OAU will not cancel a whole session just to fix the gap between the chronological year and the admission year they are on (i.e. We are in the ending parts of 2020 but the school is just starting the 19/20 session), OAU is not used to canceling sessions or merging two sessions, they just keep running the sessions no matter how far behind they are with the chronological years and with the JAMB’s admission calendar.

When OAU eventually resumes from the pandemic break, let’s not expect the cancelling of the 2020/2021 admission or the 2021/2022 session, or the merger of any of the two sessions, or the refusal to accept admission applications for 2021/2020 session, but we should expect a very fast session anytime OAU is back to it, as students wouldn’t like to take anything slow when academic activities eventually resumes, neither would the school be willing to slow down on anything—at least for a while after resumption. But let’s not expect a Post-UTME (in written form) for the 2020/2021 applicants. This can only mean admission for this mentioned session is just going to have to be a real rush as most applicants have the standard O/Level results and the high UTME scores that inflate will their total score, so let us expect high departmental cutoff points for the 2020/2021 admission session as the school’s way to drop as many people as possible, and a thorough and competitive admission processing too. God help us all. 

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Thursday 6 August 2020


What Really Happened to Your OAU Documents You Paid for on ETX

The past two years have been the greatest years of Nigerians requesting for their documents from their higher education institutions for emigration purposes. I know this because most of the educational jobs myself and my teammates at PEC have done in the last two years have been mostly on processing transcripts, stamped certificates to be sent to an evaluation body abroad, Proof of Proficiency in English and verification letter that are needed abroad—in Canada especially, and to WES most especially. So we know how seriously people are needing their documents, and how their schools are giving them problems, and how the problems become even more serious when the school is OAU. Believe me, we know all these; it’s our hustle we’ve been doing since 2010 and we can compare how it was from 2010 to 2017 to how it has been from 2018 to 2020.

Covid-19 was in fact only able to reduce how people urge for their documents from their schools only for about two or three months: February, March and April, and everyone has been slowly coming back to needing their documents for emigration purposes again--especially the people in the health works who the pandemic has been making countries easing entrance for them. But sadly, it’s still going to be the same stories and the same problems they encountered with OAU and ETX on their documents before the pandemic that they would still encounter now, even now that the pandemic has made a lot of organizations find digital ways to deliver their services and even better.

As an alumnus of OAU, when you request for your transcripts via ETX, and months and forever after you have paid for such service, your transcripts are not delivered to where you need them, ETX does not get back to you on what’s happening, and you are just left to forget about the request because you don’t even have the time to come down to OAU for such thing. But hello, instead of forgetting about it, the questions you should want to find answers to is: what really happened to your documents? Why were they not delivered to where you needed them? Why is it taking too long if they are going to be delivered? Why is ETX not communicating with you about it? Should getting your transcripts from your school be that difficult since the transcripts are only the furnished, vetted and addressed version of all your results while at the school and the school is supposed to always have your results no matter what? Answer to these questions will be provided now.

If you have requested for your OAU transcripts on ETX for over two months now and it’s yet to be delivered, just know it’s most likely to not be delivered ever! By the way, if you don’t know what ETX is and why you have to request for your transcripts through them, here is an insight: OAU stopped dealing transcripts with the individual alumnus around 2017, a startup company called ETX took the deal to be the middle agent between the school and their alumni, and since then, any transcripts collected without the involvement of ETX is most definitely not a legit document and might encounter some problems where you need them. The core functions of ETX here are: to take your transcripts requests/orders and money, take your application to the school’s Exams and Records; from here ETX is going to be out of the process till your transcripts are ready to be sent. It’s now left to the Exams and Records to find your files, get your results, furnish them to transcripts, address them, get them stamped and singed by the right authorities and deliver it back to ETX. Here is where ETX resumes back to the process, and it’s only to send the documents to the receiver’s address you have provided when you made your order, either by courier or by email.

Basically, that’s what transcripts processing in OAU should entail, and if the people involved in these processes know what they are doing, all these should not take more than one to two weeks. But almost always, along all these stages mentioned in processing a transcript, things go wrong or get complicated and everything just stops, and—because ETX are the people you paid to and also because they don’t really communicate with their clients on what’s really happening or tell the clients the truth when they eventually communicate—everyone just tends to blame ETX for the problems their transcripts processing is having, not knowing that the processing of a transcript is not even ETX’s job at all, they are just there to take your orders, report it to Exams and Records, and get your orders delivered to where you need them when Exams and Records is done making them available for delivery, and I promise you, ETX do their own part of these processes well. At least I can score them 55/100.

I will also say this emphatically, you can blame ETX for overcharging you for transcripts, you can blame them for not keeping you posted on the process of your transcripts, but you should never blame them for whatever happens to your transcripts processing, the failure of the process is always only about 2% their fault and about 40% the fault of Exams and Records and about 50% the fault of your department and about 8% the fault of the school’s ICT center. Let me fill you in. ETX report all of their transcripts order to Exams and Records and most of the reported orders don’t return to them in transcripts at all as they are supposed to. A lot of the orders die at the Exams and Records—because they can’t find your results on their platform where the senate approved results of the alumni are (the database is always crashing and they are always introducing a new one that would be almost empty). Many of the orders dies at the Exams and Records because when they can’t find your results on the database, they just leave your application in a file on their table to not be touched again.

If your application will ever be touched again and worked on, it would mean Exams and Records will have to write to your department to provide your results that would be signed by your HOD, but when the Exams and Records deliver the letters to your department, most of the departments don’t even touch these letters, and some that would touch it would work on it and stop the work on it should they encounter any problem at all (and they encounter problems most times; how can you not encounter problems in OAU?). Most of the departments will have to leave the Exams and Records waiting for your results till everyone just forgets about it.

In cases when your department touch the letter requesting for your results, work on it, and encounter a problem, they will have to write to the Computer Center too (authorized by the HOD) to provide your results from any of their old database that’s not working as a platform anymore for them (the department) to sign and take to Exams and Records. This is when a lot of transcripts processing die, because HOD will not have time to authorize such letter, and if the HOD does, the computer center will not have time to attend to it. So if you have requested for your transcripts for a while now and you are not hearing anything from ETX, your transcripts processing is either dead now or about to die, and you will need some connected people to help you pull lots of strings at most of the offices mentioned above (which by the way always involve legal payments and some illegal payments too for these strings to pull at all). These connected people must have time for this process and be really committed to it and meticulous about it (it has to be their hustle probably), and these people have to be really dependable and trustable. Now is when you know I'm trying to describe the team members of PEC to you; this is what we do… we solve problems. So contact us if you are currently experiencing issues with your transcripts processing.

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Sunday 2 August 2020

The Nearing Resumption of Higher Education Institutions

The Nearing Resumption of Higher Education Institutions

The letter from the Executives of the National Universities Commission to the Vice-Chancellors (VC’s) of the Nigerian universities talking about the preparation for the resumption of academic activities got on the internet over the weekend and it delighted everyone. Though it’s mixed up with a lot of risks, but this is really a good news. The students and the lot of us working in the education industry have been off our occupations since March 2020 and that’s really a very long time for the students to not be engaged in academic activities and for people working in academics to be off active education businesses too. So this just has to be a good news that we all can only be happy about—at least for now; we will be the dealing with the demerits later on, but but we really want to enjoy the merits for now and jubilate over them.

So as the industry of education and everyone else of us are planning to resume academic activities soon, the PEC team is wishing us well in our preparation for work—especially the applicants currently trying to seek admission to the Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) for the 2020/2021 academic session, we want to let you know that we miss being your best source of information and we are eager to get back to providing you with the fastest, best and genuine information on your admission processes at all levels of higher education including the Diploma and Pre-degree programmes, JAMB’s UTME and DE, School of Nursing programmes, Postgraduate admissions and admission for professional programmes, and to also help in facilitating your processing of your admission to these programmes. We look forward to starting work, and this time we are coming even better than we used to be, as we have spent our times off work on planning on new things to add to our services as soon as work starts, and also better ways to deliver our services to you. It can still be a great academic session, and we are ready to be part of that greatness. Please permit us to wish you a Happy Preparation for Resumption.

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