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Learning What Professors Couldn’t Teach

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“Combining academic and extracurricular activities in an environment like Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto is very challenging,” said Mohammed Yakub, who used to be the President of the National Association of Kwara State Students (NAKSS), UDUS Chapter.

Being a student in the Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies, he doubled as a campus politician with an outstanding reputation among his peers. Despite all warnings that his political activities would affect his grades, now a graduate, Yakub considers himself successful.

“I graduated as one of the best students from the Department of Islamic Studies as nobody has graduated above the second class Upper division I got,” he said.

In addition to that, his time in politics has taught him what his professors could not teach him in the classroom.

“I was able to realize my leadership qualities,” he said.

Expressing what extracurricular activities could do, Professor Jimoh Amzat, a lecturer at the Department of Sociology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, said engaging in such activities complements what the students are being taught in the class.

For instance, communication and confidence-building, which can be built-in books or debate clubs, he said, could help students develop skills that are not taught in classrooms but are essential in the labor market.

“Combining those activities and academic work produces well-rounded students and graduates. It helps to meet people beyond their departments, thereby enhancing friendship and fellowship that could also be beneficial.”

But with all the advantages that come with engaging in extracurricular activities on campus, Lawal Olakunle noted that it is often met with condemnation that it injures academic grades.

Olakunle, a former sports editor at Pen Press, a campus press outlet in Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, did not buy the idea.

He described his time outside the classroom learning stuff he could not be taught in his lecture halls as his best moments.

“It widened my horizons and upgraded my thinking,” he said softly, tapping his head. He added: “That’s what it does to students.”

Shereefdeen is a 200-level law student at Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.

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Ahmad Shereefdeen
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