Pupils Shine in the 2020 National Common Entrance Examination!

For the second consecutive year, Bridge Lagos & Osun community schools pupils have performed excellently in the country’s National Common Entrance Examination. The achievement is even more remarkable as it took a lot of commitment and hard work to prepare for the exams as writing the examination at a period the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the school calendar meant that the children had to study at home with support from their teachers and parents, using the @Home learning resources.

2020 is the second year that Bridge Community school pupils in Nigeria sat for the Common Entrance Exam. In total, 112 pupils sat the exam (58 girls; 54 boys) from some of the most impoverished communities in Lagos. Our top three best performing pupils are Shiji Sowemimo, Anuoluwapelumi Dawodu and Milton Nwaiwu. The overall best performing pupil is Shiji Sowemimo, a 12-year-old boy from Bridge Academy Anibaba in Ikorodu scored an astonishing 190 marks out of 200, while the second and best performing female pupil, Anuoluwapelumi Dawodu (also 12 years old) from Bridge Academy, Awoyaya scored 186 marks. Milton Nwaiwu, who is also from Bridge Academy Awoyaya scored 184 marks. Bridge’s top three best performing pupils for 2020 outperformed our 2019’s best performing pupils by 8, 7 and 13 marks respectively.

Top performer, Shiji’s success story is even more compelling as he comes from one of the more impoverished areas of Lagos and has been raised by a single mother. His performance in the exam sets him on the path to greatness and gives him the opportunity to attend one of the prestigious secondary schools in the country.

Shiji attributes the success to the support he got from his mother, teachers and school, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown. According to him,

“I continued reading and preparing for my exams with the remote learning materials provided by my school during the school closure “ He added “With the remote learning materials, I remembered everything that I was taught in the classroom and was able to learn new things.”

Bridge’s best performing male pupil, Shiji David Showemimo, scored 190 marks out of 200.

According to Ms Sowemimo, her sons have a corner in their home where they keep equipment like speakers, batteries, light bulbs, spoilt lamps, magnets, spoilt radio, etc which they would dismantle to see the components in them and after reading about how those equipment are made, and they would re-assemble them again.

“I noticed from when they were much younger that they are inquisitive and like learning new things so I encourage them to the best of my ability and allow them to explore and satisfy their curiosity” She said. “The joy of every parent is to see their children excel, I am grateful to God for giving me the strength and wisdom to support my children and I am proud and happy for what Shiji has been able to accomplish” She added.

When asked what his favourite school subject is, Shiji’s response wasn’t far-fetched, “I like Maths and Science because I learn about matter and how other properties interacts”. He hopes to become a Physicist in future to find unknown answers to questions that would lead to inventions that would benefit everyone in the world, a dream that is uncommon for a child of his age. 


Anuoluwapelumi DAWODU -Bridge International Academies Kokoro Awoyaya

Anuolwapelumi got admission into Queens College in Lagos, getting admitted into the 94-year- old school on merit is no mean feat considering it is one of the most sought-after of the 104 Federal Unity Colleges across the country.

Her mother, Mrs Abimbola Dawodu, a foodstuff seller, said she was glad she eventually chose Bridge for her daughter. Even after hearing about the school from a community ambassador, she said she had not decided until she heard a friend’s testimonial about the school’s method of teaching and quality of teachers.

“Looking back, I am happy I made the decision to enrol them at Bridge because ensuring that our children have the best education foundation and are set for a successful future and a good quality of life was what my husband and I wanted for them,” she said.

Writing the examination at a period the COVID-19 disrupted the school calendar meant that Anu and her peers had to study mostly from home.  However, she said the support she got from her school went a long way to help her prepare. “I was always reading and studying with the daily lessons provided by Bridge,” said the girl who hopes to study Archaeology.

Bridge Academy Anibaba and Awoyaya, are part of a network of nursery and primary community schools that serve low-income communities across Lagos and Osun. During the recent school closures due to COVID-19, Bridge supported all primary 6 pupils with free common entrance prep practice questions, in addition to the daily lessons in the @Home remote learning programme which include learning guides, self-study activity packs, virtual storybook library and free mobile interactive quizzes which helped children keep track of their studies all through the school closure.

The Academics Director at Bridge Lagos, Rhoda Odigboh said:

“Our teachers must be commended for the success of their pupils. The learning gains evidenced at Bridge is as a result of the dedication, passion and hardwork by our teachers who are at the heart of our mission of delivering a life-changing education for millions of children.”

“The success our children have achieved in the national exam shows what Bridge has always believed that every Nigerian child can excel if given the right opportunities, supportive teachers and empowering schools. Odigboh added.

Bridge has been supporting community schools across Lagos since 2015. 2019 was the first year that the school network entered pupils for the National Common Entrance exam; with the pupils scoring extremely well. The impressive results in the Nigerian national exams, now over consecutive years, provides further evidence that Bridge provides a strong education to children in Nigeria. They strengthen and build upon the preponderance of evidence showing equity of learning being gathered across Bridge Lagos community schools every year. 

The Federal Ministry of Education set the minimum aggregate marks for selection under national merit as 142 out of a total possible score of 200 marks. 62 percent of Bridge pupils who sat the exams surpassed the Lagos State Unity cut off mark while 23 percent outperformed the national merit cut off mark. 

Milton Nwaiwu

The stories of these indigent Bridge pupils have been published in tier-one Nigerian newspapers such as ThisDay, BusinessDay, The Nation and Vanguard.