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Hauwa Usman defies disability, bags first class degree in Aeronautical Engineering


She is termed the first northern female to bag a first class degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Ms. Hauwa Umar Usman achieved a historic academic record in the United Kingdom (UK) after graduating with a First Class (Honours) degree in Aeronautical Engineering in August 2017.
Hauwa Usman is the first Northern woman to have studied Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Brighton, she is among the very few females in Nigeria to study the course.
According to online medium, Global Sentinel, Hauwa’s curiosity for an aircraft’s ability to remain airborne, flight control systems and related aviation safety issues in the country led her to choose Aeronautical engineering.
Her education in England began at the EF Language school in Cambridge, where she studied Engineering for her University foundation preparation year 2012-2013. Hauwa got accepted to study Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Brighton in 2013.
“My choice to study Aeronautical Engineering was one out of curiosity for aircrafts at a young age. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into due to how challenging and demanding the male dominated course could be.
“My Father has been very supportive since day one of my academic journey. He had always taught me to be patient, learn from my mistakes and always do my best, because ‘my best is enough.”
“Despite the odds, I was determined that i would not let myself down and most especially my Father. Because, I knew he had sacrificed so much to make sure I have the best education.
She is the third daughter of Maj-Gen Usman Tudunwada Usman (rtd). Usman is the International Vice President (IVP) for Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) in Africa and chairman of the Africa Forum as well the former National President of CILT in Nigeria.
Hauwa was born in Kano and she attended Crescent International School from primary to junior secondary, she spent most of her childhood in Kano, at the age of 14 her family moved to Abuja, where she completed her secondary school education from year10-year12 at British International School, after which she moved to England to further her Education.

Struggle with dyslexia
Usman said study was a struggle as she suffered from slow learning.
“During my studies in England, I experienced some challenges, which a British friend noticed were signs of dyslexia and suggested that I take a dyslexia test. I had never heard of dyslexia ever in my life. I contacted the dyslexia team at the University and they were very helpful in explaining the disability and I was told that even the smartest scientist like Albert Einstein had this disability.”
Dyslexia is a “specific learning difficulty” that can cause certain problems with the ability used for learning, such as reading, writing, and understanding a task among others.”
She however, stressed that intelligence is not affected as she under took the stages of assessment for dyslexia “and it was discovered that I had a certain level of learning difficulty. The most important thing at that stage in my life was how to manage and develop a strategic way to understand where my difficulties affected me more”.
She further said: “Whilst studying, I had my ups and downs and at the edge of wanting to give up, I always remembered my father’s words ‘it’s a challenge studying Aeronautical and yet you have come this far and I am so proud of you”.
“My Mother had taught me to never lose hope in anything I do and that my hard work won’t go to vein and Allah’s mercy will always be with me.”

She stressed that her “success in Aeronautical Engineering has been through hard work, stepping out of my comfort zone, understanding strategic ways to manage my learning difficulties, having a positive mind set and most importantly the encouragement from my family and friends during my most challenging times, allowed me to be amongst the very few with a first class degree in Aeronautical Engineering”.
“Verily with hardship comes ease” Quran (94:6), she said adding, “The need to diagnose dyslexia in individuals especially at a younger age by both parents and teaching staff in Nigeria needs to be emphasized more.”
She advised that “no child should be hit or beaten because they do not understand a task”.

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