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Ishaq Abubakar achieved an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto through perseverance and dedicated tutoring, overcoming initial academic setbacks and economic hardships.

Ishaq Abubakar’s attainment of an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) exemplifies doggedness and perseverance in the face of numerous challenges. Through dedicated tutoring and support, his initial struggles were overcome, allowing him to achieve academic success.

Despite initial setbacks in securing admission into a higher institution, Ishaq’s dream of becoming a mathematician remained unwavering. Reflecting on his experiences, he recalls how, despite not being among the successful applicants after taking the post-UTME exam at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) twice, he remained steadfast in his pursuit.

“I wrote UNILORIN’s post-UTME twice and fell short both times,” he recalled. “My second failed attempt made me reconsider if destiny had assigned me to that school.”

His insatiable thirst for in-depth knowledge and mastery in mathematics led him to choose UDUS, which he confidently described as the best university in Nigeria.

Offered provisional admission to study mathematics at UDUS, Ishaq attributed his success to the guidance and support of his mentor, Mr. Imran, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology Minna (FUTMINNA). This mentorship imbued him with the energy and determination that propelled him to graduation. “I’ve been [an undergrad] since 100-level, and was determined to maintain this status till graduation,” he said.

“The opportunities offered to undergraduates fueled my determination for academic excellence, despite doubts that I might fall short. However, all uncertainty vanished when I received A’s in all my first semester results in 400-level.”

His outstanding academic journey, culminating in a 4.65 CGPA, was not without challenges. Coming from an average family, Ishaq faced economic hardships. “The economic turmoil affected us; we were forced to pinch pennies,” he said.

At UDUS, tutorial centers have salvaged and improved various students’ CGPAs. In pursuit of further knowledge on complex topics taught in lectures, students found guidance in senior colleagues who offered tutoring at a subsidized rate.

Standard Deviation Tutorial (SDT), a renowned tutoring center, was established in 2018 by Bankole Ridwanullahi, a scholar offering exceptional tutoring in mathematics and statistics. Ishaq credits the founder for his inspiration, “The guidance I received in 100-level motivated me to channel my energy into tutorial sessions.”

As their scope expanded to cover topics related to physics, chemistry, biochemistry, and other calculation-intensive courses, Ishaq and his friend took over SDT in 2019, expanding their reach to cover almost all calculation-related courses offered in the first and second years.

“Knowledge sown is like a fire with a surging flame whose end can’t be envisioned,” Ishaq said, echoing traditional wisdom. The tutorial center has nurtured over 1,000 students on campus, many of whom have become scholars in their departments. “We have up to 30 students who graduated with honors and 100 students maintaining their class status to date,” he proudly stated.

Resorting to reading at midnight to make up for time spent tutoring during the day, Ishaq urges students to stay determined. “Determination and prayer are crucial. Once you’re determined to achieve something, you’ll be wise enough to avoid distractions that might hinder your progress,” he advised.

Wonderful Adegoke is a 300-level medical student at Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS), and a campus reporter interested in uncovering societal ills. His work has been published in the Daily Reality, Harbinger Media and other reputable media outlets.