By Abdul Waheed Shotonwa
Muslim teen, Aliyah Adunola has been crowned the National Winner of the 2022 Microsoft Office Specialist Competition
Aliyah, an SS3 student and daughter of a Guardian Newspaper Reporter, Mrs. Shakirah Adunola, emerged best in PowerPoint 2016 and would alongside winners from other categories represent Nigeria at the world championship slated for July, 2022 in the United States of America.
The Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship is a global competition that tests students’ skills in Microsoft Office Word, Excel® and PowerPoint®.
Muslim News findings revealed that top students are invited to represent their respective countries at the World Championship.
In some countries or regions, students are required to participate in a National Championship, and the winners of that tournament will progress to the World Championship.
Aliyah, from Osogbo, Osun State, is a student of City of Knowledge Academy through a scholarship she won from Access Bank after participating in the school entrance examination in 2016 and came out in flying colours.
Currently, the Social Prefect of her school, Aliyah performed well at her Cambridge International General Certificate Secondary Education (IGCSE), where she scored A+ Accounting, A+ Information and Communication, A+ Mathematics ((W/OUT COURSEWORK), A in English as a second Language with Grade, One in Aral/Aural, A in Economics, A in Biology and B in Food and Nutrition.
Aliyah is aspiring to study Accounting in the United States or Canada which will allow her tackle some of the challenges bedeviling Nigeria’s economy. She aspires to be Nigeria’s Finance Minister or the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
One-on-one with the Winner
In an exclusive interview, Aliyah shared her journey through the competition.
She said “My journey started when I took my first Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint examination in March. It was my second time in the exam. My first exam was Microsoft Office Specialist word in which I got 828/1000. It was a not-so-good score compared to the scores of my mates, so I didn’t make it to the nationals. When I was told that I was opportune to write the MOS PowerPoint, I saw it as a great opportunity to prove to myself that I could do better. I started practising a few days after I was told I will be writing the exam using practice questions provided by my ICT teacher and also the Gmetrix app. When the day of the exam came, I was nervous as usual, but I tried my best to calm myself by telling myself I could do it. At the end of the exam, I had a score of 957/1000 which was good but below my expectations ( I hoped to get 1000/1000).
#Muslim teen, Aliyah Adunola has been crowned the National Winner of the 2022 #Microsoft Office Specialist Competition. Aliyah emerged best in PowerPoint 2016. She alongside winners from other categories represent Nigeria at the world championship slated for July, 2022 in the US. pic.twitter.com/BKhGh7TqhQ
— Muslim News Nigeria (@muslimnews_NG) May 10, 2022
“About a month after the exam I was told I qualified for the nationals which was a surprise to me but also not a surprise. This was because the pass mark varies on the score of other people so if a lot of people got 980 and above, the pass mark could have been 980. When I was told I qualified for nationals I was at home and my laptop was faulty so I could not really practice, but I made use of my mom’s laptop once in a while and also since I am in my final year, I have a lot to do; I also have to study hard to secure a scholarship into my school of choice in Canada.
“Immediately I got back to school, I had to start practising, which was not convenient because I had a readiness test around that period. My readiness test finished on Thursday and my exam was on Friday, so I had to make good use of Thursday night till the time I wrote the exam. As of Thursday night, I wasn’t really sure if I could make it to the main competition, so I made up my mind that no matter how good or bad I do, I just have to pass the score I got before which was 957. Or at least, that was what I thought until I was in front of the laptop and I prayed for 1000/1000. I was nervous as usual and I had to stop once in a while to just calm down. By the end of the exam, I got a shocking 1000/1000.
When asked how she felt receiving the news, she noted it was a shock getting a perfect score having expected less and that would aid her drive for a university scholarship.
In her word, she said “To be honest, I do not know the exact words that can describe how I feel because this achievement of mine is still quite unbelievable to me. I wasn’t surprised about my being a national winner, what really surprised me was my perfect score of 1000/1000. The score was a surprise to me because I didn’t have a lot of time to practice due to the fault with my laptop and also preparing for my final year exams.
“I wrote the exam on Friday and the result came on Monday, throughout the weekend my mind wasn’t at rest because I didn’t want to be too sure that I have secured a spot in the world competition. On Monday (Eid Day) when I was finally told that I had won the national competition, I was very happy because it meant I had something new to add to my university application. Winning the competition is probably one of the best things that happened to me this year and it is also my greatest achievement since my IGCSE Result”, she happily said.
On her preparation for the world championship, she explained her challenges.
“I haven’t had time to start preparing because I am in my final year of secondary school and my exams are approaching very fast. I haven’t had time to even reflect on this achievement because my Joint Admission and Matriculation Board examination, (JAMB) is on Monday, May 9 (yesterday) and my WAEC starts the week after. But I have been working on a way to schedule my time so that I have enough time to prepare for WAEC and practice for the exam”.
Raising my kids according to the tenets of Islam is the secret – The Guardian Reporter
Explaining what worked for her as a mother, Mrs. Adunola unveiled that raising her children with Islamic morals was key to her success.
According to her, “I think what works for me is that I raise my kids according to the tenets of Islam. I started teaching them stories of the prophets right from infancy to shape their morals. As a mother, I devote enough time to my children.
“Also, I have taste for good education. With that, I was able to choose a good primary school for them. She attended Salmat Citadel Montessori School. May Allah bless and reward the proprietress of the School, Mrs Rahmat Adams. I can’t quantify her awesomeness. When it comes to Montessori education, she goes as far as training parents to achieve success. So, choosing a good school worked for me and that earned Aliyah the opportunity to win a full secondary scholarship to an International School, City of Knowledge Academy in Ijebu Ode owned by the Former Chairman of Access Bank, Mrs Mosun Bello popularly known as Aunty Mo. May Allah reward her abundantly and continue to preserve her for the Ummah.
“When it comes to my children’s affairs, I don’t joke with it because they are my primary responsibility. I devote so much time to my children, most especially during their early stages in life. It was after then I decided to go into journalism. After laying a solid foundation for them, I had little to do. I remember a senior colleague at work usually tells me anytime I’m not regular at work that he knows that my children were on holiday.
“I equally acknowledge my husband’s effort for he does not joke with anything that need to do with his children. I’m delighted that my husband supported me throughout the journey.
“My advice will go solemnly to women. Our primary responsibility is to nurture our wards. Don’t let anything take that from us. It is only when our children are responsible, then, we will be at peace to enjoy our hard-earned money”, she noted.
Narrating her reaction upon getting the news, she said “I was elated when I received the news from her school IT teacher. It was a glorious day for me and double happiness as it was on the day of the Eid celebration. I was and I am still proud of her as she has made not only the family and her school proud, but the Muslim community and country proud. She will be representing the girl child, CKA, Nigeria and Muslims.”
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