By Yahaya Jibrin-
Since 1998, when the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC) opened shop in a rented two bedroom apartment in the heart of Abuja, little did we know that something good was about to happen. Just like its slogan the “right environment for learning,” the successes recorded by ex-students of the NTIC in recent times have indeed proved this motto correct.
This piece is on a young chap that has been making headlines in the past week after he emerged as the best graduating student for 2017 from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU). Call him a genius if you like, and he would offer you a smile. But call him a product of the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC), he would provide you with a handshake, as if to agree “yes, I am a product of the NTIC.” He is Al-Amin Bugaje, of the department of electrical engineering with a cumulative CGPA of 4.93.
He readily tells you that he is not a bookworm. That he loves to sleep because rest is good. This is what he learned while at the NTIC, so once it is 10 pm, he shuts downs and sleeps. He says he also tries to observe his siesta in the afternoon. “While I was at the NTIC, we were made to understand that rest is good. So after study, we rest.”
He is also a good footballer. He says at NTIC, if you don’t know how to play football, it means you are not a student. “Every NTIC student is good in football, and we always look forward to it.”
This is a short story of a chap who conquered academically at the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University as the best graduating student for 2017. Upon hearing the news, I made moves to reach out to him, to at least know the factors the prepared him for this feat, and to also have a peep into his mind. And I wasn’t surprised when I eventually meet with this young chap, and he mentioned that he was an ex-student of the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC). He attributed his success story to God, his family, and the sound background he received from the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC).
This is a feat like no other. Interestingly, he was instantly offered full scholarship up to a Ph.D. level in any university of his choice in the world by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). You might want to add that Al-Amin Bugaje was quite lucky because, before him, there had been others. Well, you won’t be wrong, and at the same time right because for Al-Amin Bugaje, the journey started a long time ago when he wrote the entrance examination into Junior Secondary School at the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges Kaduna. And according to him, “at the NTIC, we were always told that success doesn’t come to you, you go for it. And those words resonate in our consciousness now and then” he further added that “ when you see an ex-student of the NTIC doing well, don’t be surprised because we have been well-groomed academically, morally and as well as well-equipped through exposures in the form of international Olympiad competitions and other competitions’
Al-Amin Bugaje would readily tell you that “I enjoyed a 100% scholarship during my stay at NTIC from JSS one to SS3, and NTIC has been instrumental in shaping me into the person that I am today. It created a nurturing environment to develop my potentials and a warm environment to explore, and to that, there is an endless gratitude, and I thank them very much for the opportunity”
The above succinctly explain why the NTIC brand has remained a force to reckon with in the Nigerian educational space in the past 19 years. The case of Al-Amin Bugaje is just one of a lot of thousands of young boys and girls that have passed through the NTIC guidance. Worthy of mention is the case of Chinemelu Ezeh, currently a Ph.D. candidate in Robotics engineering at the University College London (UCL). Chinedu Ezeh in an interview he granted to a newspaper in Nigeria has this to say about his alma mater, NTIC. “Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC) not only influenced his interest but also assisted with developing a rigorous background in mathematics and science.” He also added that “the NTIC also encouraged willing students to broaden their horizon by participating in local and international competitions and I gained an appreciation of science and technology through the international exposure.” He says.
The above examples tell something about the NTIC as an institution and also, its learning model. A review of the roll call of ex NTIC students, you won’t but nod in pure excitement. They have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields of endeavor. At this point, you might want to ask what it that makes the NTIC brand thick.
According to Mr. Muazu Omeji, principal NTIC boys Abuja, in an interview he granted, he gave an insight into what makes the NTIC brand successful. Hear him: “In NTIC, we believe that human beings are born as empty vessels which can be shaped by good values. NTIC’s mandate is to grow kids to greatness not only in education but sound moral upbringing to be well-rounded individuals for the betterment of the society.”
He also added that “at NTIC, we believe that motivation is better than coercion in achieving set goals. We motivate our teachers to a great extent. In our school, only the best is good enough. Given this, teachers are regularly retrained on modern pedagogy.” This much Al-Amin Bugaje corroborated. He says “At NTIC, we had teachers who were not only concerned about our academic performance; they also ensured we were of sound and stable mind always.”
At a recent conference organized by Concerned Parents & Educators Network, it was stated that without proper work at the early stage in educating a child, nothing done at other levels will stand. I cannot agree less with this position. And in my opinion, this is what the NTIC brand has taken time to invest in Nigeria. It is actively involved in local and international competitions like the International Olympiad Tournament. According to information posted on its website, it stated that “in the 2016/2017 academic session NTIC students won a total of 9 Gold Medals, 10 Silver Medals and 20 Bronze Medals in all of the international competitions it partook in.
For 13 years now, the NTIC in collaboration with the National Mathematics Centre has been organizing the Annual National Mathematics Competition for primary five and six pupils across the country. And this has been producing excellent results. The nobility of this strategy is that these pupils by the time they get to secondary school, they would have been well grounded and ready for academic exploits. And I guess we won’t be surprised later in the future if a Nigerian groomed through the Annual Mathematics Competition organized by the NTIC achieves international recognition in mathematics.
Having said the above, it would be safe to state that the impact of the NTIC brand in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. It has contributed immensely to the Nigerian educational space in the past 19 years. And Al-Amin Bugaje is just one example.
– Jibrin worte in from Abuja