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12 years boy is Certified Programmer for Java
Twelve years old, JSS 3 Nigerian boy, Nyemahame Allwell Worgu has equalled a record set by another 12 years old Pakistani girl in mastering the Sun's Java program.

In 2001, the Pakistani girl, Afsah Shafqat ventured into writing Sun's Certified Programmer for Java 2 Platform 1.4 certification exam, a version of Java basically designed for programmers experienced in using the basic syntax and structure of the Java programming language.

Afsah did not only pass the exam, but also created a world record as the youngest individual in the whole world to scale through the test. Her younger sister, Afrah Shafqua also toed the same line, earning the same certificate almost the same age with Afsah.

Sun's certification program in Java technology is an industry recognised world-wide program that focuses on critical job roles in software application development and enterprise architecture. The philosophy behind the exam is that certification is central to the learning process as it provides validation of skill sets for specific job roles and also offers a natural progression to support chosen career goals. Afterwards, holders of this certificate have the opportunity of pursuing advanced training and certifications that help enable career growth into more specific job roles valuable to an organisation.

While his mates were still battling with passing their junior WAEC exams, Allwell Worgu, a student of the Nigerian Turkish International College, is worried about the world record kept by the Pakistani 12 years old girl. First, he felt that for a girl of 12 to venture taking the exam, then it becomes a big challenge to the male folk. Secondly, Allwell Worgu strongly believes that "blacks are more intelligent than the white", mentioning Philip Emeagwali, the Anambra State born computer guru as a backup for his view. With these in his mind, the River State native resolved to give the Pakistani girl a fight by enrolling for the same exam earlier this month at the age of 12.

Allwell, who started using computer right from his primary school days, revealed his plans of enrolling for the Java exam to his parents, then his school principal, stating his reasons for the mission.

"When I first heard about Java from my teacher in school, I went home to my father for better understanding, which he explained to me. I informed them (his parents) that I would like to take the exam. When I proved to them that I'm ready for it, they first met with my principal, stating my readiness to enrol. When my school saw that I really knew what I was doing, they told me that its not an easy thing for somebody of my age to do, but since they know I can do it, they said I should continue," he narrates.

You need to see Allwell's reaction when he was asked if he ever thought about the possibility of him failing the Java exam?

"Failure was never an option for me," he replied, explaining that, "there is no big deal in writing the exam. When adults write exams, they have many things in their mind; that's why they always fail. May be those that fail were not ready, especially adults, who will be thinking about their business, their market, money in the bank, their stocks and so on, so they find it difficult to concentrate. As a child, I think its better to write it at this period when I don't have much distractions", Allwell reasoned.

As part of his preparation for the exam, Allwell registered with a private computer school in Lagos as an additional training towards achieving his goal. He was never worried about his status as the youngest in the computer training school- rather he utilised it as an advantage to learn more.

"Since I was with adults, it was very easy because they take me as a unique person, small and smart. They are adults, they don't really need to be taught again, but in life, learning still goes on. Sometimes, they can just give them two books and tell them what to do, whenever they need assistance in the school, they will meet our teacher. Our teacher focuses on me because I'm still a child, the other have grown, so they know how to take care of themselves, it was very easy," he said.

Well, if taking Java tutorials class with adults was easy for Allwell, was writing the proper exam easy too and was there any sign of tension during the process?

"There was no tension, but I prayed before I started. Those that wrote the exam before me told me that their hands were shaking when they were writing the exam, they were just telling me all those stuffs. So, when I got there, I saw the questions, they were very easy, so I just continued writing."

"They were like- this is the youngest person that ever came to this centre to write any exam. I'm sure some of them never thought I was there to write the exam, they thought, may be I came to see somebody. I wrote Java, I don't know what others wrote, because I concentrated on my papers, but I left the hall before a lot of them. I didn't see it as very difficult, I wonder why grown-ups fail the exam," he queried.

At last, the result of the exam, which he took online, on the 10th of this month, at Bi- Trax Axxent, Lekki, Lagos, was finally announced, with Allwell scoring 72 per cent. Out of the total 61 questions, he got 44 answers right, putting himself to the same rank with the 12 years old Pakistani, and also becoming the youngest to hold Sun's Certified Java Programmer (SCJP) in the African continent.

What was his feeling when the result was announced and how did his parents and school management react when they got the news?

"I felt normal, I didn't feel that happy, because the exam was very simple and I was ready for it. My parents were happy with the result, my schoolmates and my principal congratulated me, urging me to keep it up," he informed.

Allwell, who is also part of the six Nigerians to represent the country at the upcoming Computer Olympiad holding in Romania, also bared his mind on issues affecting Nigeria as a nation, urging youths to always take a chance.

"I want to help and encourage people about thing like this, because if they know about them Nigeria will develop. Look at America, look at Britain, what is helping them today, is it not computers? Look at Singapore, this was a poor country, but just because of computers, they are now growing very popular in the world. Nigeria can get to such level if we try; there is no big deal about that."

He smiles, looks at his father and his uncle who was so surprised with some of Allwell's responses during the chat and then continues: "I encourage the young ones to take the exam. Like I was surfing the net recently and I saw a Nigerian who wanted to write the exam and people were discouraging him. They told him that the exam is too difficult, that they have written it more than three times without success. They should try their best and take the exam first. The young ones are the future of tomorrow, so they have more chances of doing those kinds of things," he urged.

Also a small group programming instructor in his school, Allwell recalls that, "Sometimes in my class, they call me over sabi, but I have no problem with that. We have a programming class in school- I'm their teacher, not Java, but other programming. Some of them (students) say that its hard while of them will say that it's easy. Some even have headache after the lessons- I think its not only grown-up that don't really understand the course, but they should put more effort."

However, despite his interest in teaching his classmates, Allwell will never be a teacher in future.

"When I'm teaching my classmates, its like talking to them normally when we are in the class. I hear teachers are poor, especially in Nigeria. Majority of them are very poor. Even when they try to air their opinions on some public issues, government will shun them, just like Soyinka now. I think he (Soyinka) is the only teacher that has been making contributions in Nigeria. Other people that try to talk, they either arrest them or do something to them," he frowned.

Mentioning schools such as Harvard University, Oxford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Cambridge University as his possible choices for university education was not the surprise, but he educated his uncle, who objected with his explanation of the current ranking of these schools in science and technology.

"I check the rating overtime on the Internet. MIT use to be the first in science and technology, but now, Cambridge University is currently leading the chart. I think MIT should be the 2nd or 3rd in the ranking. I'm planning to do more programming languages such as developer test, Java, oracle, Microsoft and the rest," he concludes.

Source: ngrguardiannews.com
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