Eleven-year-old Peace Delaly Nicoue, the youngest person to ever sit the Baccalaureate exam in Benin, has grabbed international headlines after passing the exam with flying colors.
Nicoue, a somewhat timid young genius, says he is “happy and relieved” to have obtained 17 out of 20 marks in mathematics because he intends to pursue economics at the university, reports BBC.
Although most students sit the Baccalaureate exam at the age of 18, Nicoue was given special permission by the government to take the assessment due to his extraordinary cognitive abilities.
“When he was 4 years old, he could write in perfect French and English without making mistakes,” his schoolteacher father, Parfait Afoutou Nicoue, says.
The young prodigy now hopes to get an opportunity to continue his studies in an English-speaking country.
Defying Rules of Nature
Nicoue’s application to sit for the high school exam had initially been rejected by the Directorate of the Office of the Baccalaureate because of his age, but incumbent President of Benin Patrice Talon intervened and validated his request.
The President made the announcement after his meeting with the Council of Ministers, which validated the boy’s application on June 28, 2017, according to Benin Web TV.
However, it is not the first time that the young genius is making headlines: in 2015, he sat and passed another major exam known as the Brevet d’Etudes du Premier Cycle.
If he joins university at his age and continues to record the same exemplary performance in his tertiary studies, he could become the youngest African to hold a Bachelor’s degree.
In addition, he may end up following in the footsteps of 23-year-old Musawenkosi Saurombe, who is the youngest African Ph.D. holder.
Saurombe, a young Zimbabwean girl raised in Botswana and schooled in South Africa, currently serves as a higher education ambassador for Botswana.
She joined university at the age of 15 and went on to attain her first degree at the age of 19.
“I never thought that at the age of 23, I will have a Ph.D. in industrial psychology,” Saurombe said.
Over the years, Africa has continued to produce some of the world’s brightest students despite its weak education system.
by Fredrick Ngugi