Nation’s brightest student sets sights high
WHEN Aude Kileo sat for his final national A-level examinations this year, one burning ambition was fixed in his mind a determination to join what is arguably the world’s best engineering university.
And by securing A grades in all the three science subjects of his combination - Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics (PCM) - the 20-year-old Kileo did his chances of winning a place at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States no harm at all.
In the process, he emerged as the National Examinations Council of Tanzania’s (NECTA) best overall A-level student, among a total of 53,758 candidates who sat for the final exams countrywide in 2008.
So now, the nation’s brightest boy is hoping that his dream of securing a place at the MIT will finally come true.
Kileo expounded on his aspirations in an exclusive interview with THISDAY in Dar es Salaam, saying: ’’If I succeed in getting a scholarship to that university, I plan to study telecommunications engineering. It has been my life-long dream.’’
’’I believe that with God’s grace, I will fulfil my dream,’’ he added.
Kileo, who comes from a modest family, completed his Advanced Certificate of Secondary Education (ACSE) at Kibaha Secondary School in Coast Region.
The son of a pastor, he attributes his remarkable achievement in this year’s A-Levels to the power of prayers plus sheer, hard work.
’’I was praying so hard to God asking for His blessings, and I was also studying hard. I kept praying, and working, and praying, and working...and my prayers were finally answered,’’ he said with a broad smile on his face.
Kileo comes from a family of six siblings, residing in Kyengia Village, Siha District, Kilimanjaro Region.
He attributed the fact that the overall number of students who passed their A-levels this year has increased by more than 10 per cent, to a new-found seriousness amongst the youth of today about their own future.
’’The students of our generation study really hard, because they know they have to in order to succeed in the future,’’ he remarked.
He also observed that he has not always been a straight A student, revealing how he had to move from one public school to another in search of a good education.
He started his primary education at Kyengia Primary School in his home village, later transferring to Wanri Kati Primary School where he was among the top three pupils in his class.
On reaching Standard Four, he joined Muungano Primary School in Moshi Municipality, where he found the competition for academic excellence among his peers more tougher.
’’At Muungano, I couldn’t manage to be even in the top 10. I was somewhere in the top 20 or 30, if I’m not mistaken. There was stiff competition at Muungano,’’ he recalled.
From early on, Kileo learned the importance of hard work, and set his sights on achieving the highest pass grades possible.
He studied his O-levels at Agape Lutheran Junior Seminary School in Kilimanjaro Region, where he secured an impressive Division I (9-points) pass mark, with five A grades and five B grades.
Asked to give his concluding remarks in the interview, Kileo said: ’’I think students are becoming smarter these days, but the government should consider improving school syllabus and properly equipping the laboratories in public secondary schools with all the necessary apparatus.’’
And considering that this is a member of the upcoming generation who appears to have proved his academic credentials to speak such words, perhaps the government ought to actually listen this time - ThisDay reporter, SAYUNI KIMARO, Dar es Salaam