Old Students Association


Five-year Old Nigerian Girl Claims World Record

Date: August 18, 2014 Author: busari Categories: Nigeria


A five-year-old Nigerian girl, who has not yet started primary school, is being hailed as the youngest person ever to pass a GCSE with a C grade in maths. Desiree Alli, from Southwark, south London, set a new record for childhood academic success. Desiree, known as Dee, prepared for the foundation level examination by playing maths games through a specialist tutoring centre. She was “mentored” by nine-year-old Nigerian girl Paula Imafidon, who hit the headlines two years ago when she sat A Level maths alongside her twin brother Peter. The two girls met through informal classes run in a local church by a charity called Excellence in Education which she began attending at the age of four. They perfected her mathematical skills through a game called “beat the calculator”. “I didn’t know I was taking the exam I thought it was a game,” she said last night.

“Maths is a big game with numbers and I find it fun. It wasn’t very difficult and I found it very easy because it was mostly questions about the difference between numbers. I’m very surprised to be the youngest ever. I’m very proud of myself but it was just a game for me. I spend a lot of time playing number games with friends older than me. I also enjoy singing with my brother and watching TV. When I’m older I would like to be a princess and be rich.” Her mother, Joy, who runs a local nursery, said: “We are very grateful for Dee’s association with Paula. It has changed her outlook on learning around.” Dee was five years and two months old when she sat the exam.Last year, Dee’s brother, Jude, hit the headlines when he sat for Maths at GCSE and made a D. Then, he was six years old.

Meanwhile, another Nigerian, Chidera Ota, led the GCSE roll of honour with 15 A’s. She has gained admission to study Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Maths and Further Maths at A-levels in King’s School, Canterbury. Presently, she also studies Latin twice a week during her lunch break. Chidera, 16, attended Highstead Grammar School, Sittingbourne, Kent. She scored A’s in English Literature and Language, Maths, Statistics, French, German, Latin, History, Sociology, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. She also made an IT qualification worth three GCSEs. Chidera lives with her Nigerian-born parents, Uchenna and Mercy, who are doctor and nurse respectively. She hopes to be a doctor. “I stayed home a lot and put a lot of work into my GCSEs. I want to become a doctor. And I know it’s very competitive. So, I need to do very well to get into medicine,” Chidera said. She added: “I want to go to a top university and I have already looked around Oxford and Cambridge. I think I will like to go to St. John’s College at Cambridge.”