He brought bones to the classroom. He was very generous with bones.
One afternoon, a middle aged man walked into SS 2E, he introduced himself as the new Further Maths and Mathematics Teacher. “Good afternoon class, my name is Olusesi, I will be teaching you Mathematics and further Mathematics”.
Prior to his appointment, our Further Mathematics teacher was Corper Tolu – a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member.
Corper Tolu introduced us to the “good” side of further mathematics; she solves simple further mathematics problems as examples and ensured our class work and examinations were easy. At a point, she assigned her duties to our fellow colleagues (Halilu Yusuf, Annafi Azeez and Ikuku Aboko) – they were the best mathematicians in the class.
During her time as Further Mathematics teacher, my Maths notebook was “decorated” with excellent marks. I once scored 97% out of 100 as the final cumulative score at the end of a term – that was how good life was during Corper Tolu’s reign.
On his first lesson, Mr Olusesi weighed our understanding of Mathematics and further mathematics. The result of his assessment revealed that we had a shallow knowledge of the subject. He found this revelation disturbing.
He saw it as his responsibility to turn our fortunes around in Mathematics, Further Mathematics. He came up with a rescue formula – BONE THEORY. He demystified mathematics; he always had two methods for every topic, a short method which is appropriate for objective tests and the standard approach for theoretical examinations.
Unlike many teachers, he solves simple, difficult exercises as class examples and “serves” difficult questions (BONES) as class work and assignment. By serving us bones; he prepared us for our final examinations.
On many occasion, he exhausts his class period and engaged our free periods too. Sometimes, he organized a 30 minutes lecture after school hours – at no additional cost to us. Other teachers who organized extra-mural lessons did it at a fee.
I am glad writing this testimonial about a living legend. He was never late for his lessons and never came to the class with a note book or text book. Yet he solves many exercises and leaves us with assignments at the end of every lesson. This reveals how hard he prepared for his lessons and reveals his mastery of the subject.
He never used a cane, raised his voice at anyone nor utters an abusive word in the class room. You will be right to say he was a soft teacher; yet he had a firm control over his class. He was highly revered by his students. For me, he was more of a mentor than a teacher.
The final examinations, WAEC, conducted by the West Africa Examination Council turned out to be biscuit bones, Titus and assorted meat. Some of the examination questions were familiar (we had solved them as class examples or as home work). It appeared as if the questions were drawn from my mathematics notebook.
At the end of the examination, I walked up to his office to thank him for the knowledge he impacted in us (my colleagues and I) and after graduation; I wrote him a thank you letter.
The impact he made did not end with the WAEC exams. Mathematics and Statistics courses in my first year in the University remained biscuit bones courtesy of the solid foundation he laid.
I hope that someday, the class of 2004 Federal Government College Ugwolawo and others who were beneficiaries of his tutelage will deem it feat to honour him – A teacher among teachers, a rare breed and living legend.