10yr old Nigerian girl accepted on university course in the UK to study maths degree

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She spends her spare time in a similar way to many
other ten-year-old girls – playing with Barbie dolls and
making loom bands. But the key difference between
Esther Okade and other children her age is that she has
been accepted to study for a university maths degree –
despite not going to school.
Esther, from Walsall, West Midlands, has enrolled on an
Open University course months after she passed her A-
levels – and wants to study for a PhD before running
her own bank.
The girl, who gained a C grade in her maths GCSE aged
six, has joined the course which started this month. Her
younger brother Isiah is already studying for his A-
levels – also aged six.
The siblings are both home-schooled by their mother
Omonefe, who has converted the living room of their
semi-detached, three-bedroom house into a makeshift
classroom.
Mathematician Mrs Okade, 37, said: ‘Esther is doing so
well. She took a test recently and scored 100 per cent.
Applying to the university was an interesting process
because of her age.
‘We even had to talk to the vice-chancellor. After they
interviewed her they realised that this has been her
idea from the beginning. From the age of seven Esther
has wanted to go to university.
‘But I was afraid it was too soon. She would say,
“Mum, when am I starting?”, and go on and on and on.
Finally, after three years she told me, “Mum, I think it is
about time I started university now”.’
Mrs Okade added that Esther – who will study for her
degree at home – was ‘flying’ and ‘so happy’ when she
was accepted by the university, and wants to be a
millionaire.
She said: ‘For now we want her to enjoy her childhood
as well as her maths. By the time she was four I had
taught her the alphabet, her numbers, and how to add,
subtract, multiply and division.
‘I saw that she loved patterns so developed a way of
using that to teach her new things. I thought I would
try her with algebra, and she loved it more than
anything.’
Esther stunned her parents last year when she achieved
a B grade in her pure maths A-level.
She applied to the Open University last August – and
after a phone interview, an essay and an exam, she was
told in December that she had been accepted onto the
course.
Her father Paul, 42, a managing director, added: ‘I
cannot tell you how happy and proud I am as a father.
The desire of every parent is to see their children
exceed them, and take the family name to great
heights, and my children have done just that.’

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