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Are Our Youth Under Too Much Pressure? 2 Students Commit Suicide in Asaba over WAEC Exam Failure



In recent times, disturbing news of young people committing suicide has filled our news pages. For a range of different reasons – financial, heart break, depression and more – young people have taken their lives through various means.

One reason for suicide that is really sad is when young people commit suicide for academic reasons or in academic institutions.

Sometime in May this year, students of University of Nigeria, Nsukka woke up to find one of their own dead with his body hanging from a rope in an uncompleted building on the campus. The deceased, a 300 level Physics and Astronomy student was said to be the class representative of students in his department and was on scholarship from MTN, Shell and that of his community in Oraukwu Town, Idemili Local Government Area of Anambra State before his death.

He allegedly left a suicide note with the caption “the controversy has ended” and his death still remains a mystery.

Another suicide that has left the country shaken is that of two students who allegedly committed suicide after failing the recent West African Examinations Council (WAEC) examinations.

The incident which happened in Asaba, the Delta state capital occurred after the students checked their results and found out they had failed.

Leadership reports that the students committed suicide after checking their result on the internet and discovered that it was unfavourable to them.

Sources said the victims had written the exams three times without passing their Maths and English Language, which led them to allegedly resolve to commit suicide.

They also confirmed that the students had struggled to gain admission into the University in the last few years without success.

Police sources at the “B” Division Asaba told Leadership that the students were allegedly found dead in their various rooms after a search party that was conducted.


While we mourn with their families and loved ones over the sad loss of these young girls, their death again brings to the fore the often over-rated importance placed on education in our society. A lot of people still think that if one can’t study in a Higher Institution, graduate with good grades, get a good job… one cannot be successful in life. It is sad that two promising young girls would take their own lives over failure to pass an examination that would help them secure admission into the Higher Institution.

More people need to understand that there are other ways of achieving success in life apart from education. There are countless examples of people who didn’t have a formal education but still achieve success.

What do you think? Is education and its importance in the society overrated?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Demmy

    August 23, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Oh my goodness that’s so sad. That’s why I’m not even stressing myself when it’s my time to write those exams and stuff. I’ve already told my mother that I’m not writing them. God be with the families of those girls and may their souls rest in perfect peace IJN Amen. x

  2. adenike

    August 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    “Education” can’t be overrated. Maybe going to a higher institution is overrated in this part of the world. It’s not worth killing oneself over. A young girl who looks up to me couldn’t gain admission into uni after 2 attempts only for her to send a text to me saying “aunty,I am hopeless,I am a failure”. I was more than disgusted. Nigerians are like magpies when it comes to degrees and it’s pretty disheartening. I’ve met a good number of graduates that sometimes,I feel like telling them them to go sell their certificates to boli sellers and go start afresh (very harsh,but that’s the truth).
    And just like Bella stated “There are countless examples of people who didn’t have a formal education but still achieve success”……not having a formal education isn’t synonymous to rapture. Some of us sure went through situations like this,failing exams and your parents saying a lot of hurtful words to you but trust me,it’s not worth taking one’s life over. Thanks Bella for putting this out.

  3. 2blunt

    August 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    pple no dye comment for this kind story, if na patience GJB talk na, we no go hear word! but why commit suicide for failing after three attempt?

  4. Faith

    August 23, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Wat o earth is going on?
    Education is not a yard stick for been successful
    We need 2 look out for our youth,encourage n pray 4 dem cos dis is not ordinary
    No be everybody were go skill dey successful I have a lot of friends dat say dey don’t have d head 4 book and they went into trading and other bussiness 2day dey are training other people in schools.
    May God help our youth

  5. olanipekun gbenga

    August 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    is a pity,an individual taking and forcing out life from his or her his painful and a sin. passing an examination is not a do or die hard and pray more, leaving the rest for God.

  6. nnajisopulu

    August 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    it wasn’t worth it at all
    but parents please try not to use harsh words on your children when they fail exams especially when they keyed-in great effort
    just encourage them and help them in prayer
    lastly,note that education is not an end in its self but a means to an end
    so,it’s not worth your life

  7. gift

    August 23, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    The world,especially Nigeria is in trouble. Suicide is profoundly tragic. Our counselors have a lot of work to do. The boy who took his life at UNN what is his problem? This girls at Asaba have a better option- marriage, instead of taking their lives.SUICIDE IS A SINFUL ACT

  8. nameless

    August 23, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    ohhh this is so sad….only if people could try a little kindness, shine your light for everyone to see…tell people uplifting and encouraging words, most importantly tell them how wonderfully made they are, regardless of their weakness….I do tell people to always be truthful and share both good and bad news of their lives to their friends so that they know that life is not rosy to anyone…but people lie alot and only portray themselves as perfect and their by pressurizing their friends who are challenged in a way….tell people how nice they are, show some love even to someone you dont know cos u dont know the wounds you are healing…
    My heart bleeds for anyone that contemplates or succeeds in committing suicide for whatever reason…education or whatever..cos upon all the good value system in the western world, they re countless persons there committing this is not about Nigeria and its poor value system.

  9. Segun onifade

    August 23, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    This is to awaken our consciousness of RAPTURE. A serious meeting is going on in d kingdom of darkness now, their agenda is on how to occupy the minds of christians with d things of d world so that RAPTURE will take them unaware. Jesus is no more at d door but has crossed d door. Pls lets make amendment where there is need. Be serious with EVANGELISM & SOUL-winning, God counts on d two.There is no more time. SHARE pls

  10. anon

    August 23, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    yes i think getting a degree is overrated in nigeria. please lets look around and draw inspiration from so many ppl around us who are earning wonderfully doing what they didnt read. and kids of these days should be taught how to make plan B-Z depending on the situation, in our struggles to get to our desired goals in life.

  11. Miss

    August 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    You can’t blame them, in this part of the world where a degree certificate is worshiped as a demi-god… Pple who have HNDs are overlooked sometimes and its so sad!! 🙁 RIP to those young girls. They probably felt so helpless!!

    • ti

      August 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      i think miss is very right…………..

  12. Theodora

    August 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    What ever happened to when you try and fail, try again and again and again untill you get it, whats wrong with all this people, death just seems to be an option out of every situation…..jezzzzz i cant believe this, haba.

  13. Edwin Chijioke

    August 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Education is not wort killing…, infact I am a graduate but am not practicing what I studied to tell you that education is not all. It contributes but it goes paralelly with ur destiny. They cant meet together.

  14. Xi

    August 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Family members should always encourage and not put pressure not young ones facing academic challenges. Exams are not a true test of intelligence. Different factors come to play. My kid brother almost cried his eyes out and went on hunger strike just because he did not pass Federal Entrance. I tried to make him understand that it was no biggy. I mean, I didn’t pass it myself and I don’t remember crying. He probably thought there was no alternative and his friends would be ahead of him. Parents and siblings alike should be supporting.

  15. Shuggarkein

    August 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Our parents (and elders) need to be careful the way they talk. Putting fear in the hearts of children is not the way to get them to do their best.
    Find their talents. Discover their special abilities. Help hem hone these skills. It’s not just about schooling. I’m a graduate. Thank God. But there is more to life.

    May their souls RIP! 🙁

  16. Harrison

    August 23, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Oh…. My GOD, MY brother and 6ters pls take life easy, bt in any tin u want 2 do think abt it firt, wat i blive GOD creat evry one with he/her own tarent, do u knw dr is sme ppls did nt even went 2 skul, ppls are laugh at dm, ur own u even went and fail d exam and u kill urself.

  17. Ogechukwu

    August 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    A relation of mine wrote WAEC 4 9 gd yrs b4 gaining admission into d university,he did nt kill himself ova failin 4 more dan 7times. At age 31 he’s jst in 200level law. Didnt see any reason y dey shld tk dia life. I belive dat there must b sth else dat made dem tuk their lives apart 4rm failing coz it doesnt wot it! God’ll help u….

    • titi

      August 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm

      wat if that was the only money they had nt justifying their actions,but they arent your cousin,and i also believe they didnt now christ enough to have done that,but pleaseeeee dont compare your cousin with them.

  18. Laolu

    August 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Let’s look at this from another angle, what kind of homes did the departed come from? What kind of parents did they have?…we are all aware that majority of Nigerian parents see education as a means to an end…some may even issue threats, use derogatory language. All in a bid to prevent their wards from failing, but at times that “fear of failure” may overwhelm and backfire.
    Another thing is comics and movies, especially the Japanese brands, Suicide is more or less glorified and seen as an honorable means of atoning for sins or regaining “honor” ….so if you have a child who grows up with all these elements,why won’t suicide look like the best viable option

  19. DeMorrieaux

    August 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Very sad indeed.
    Formal education is not just “overrated” in Nigeria, it is “overrated” all over the world. Amongst my former class-mates, I was the only Nigerian, and although my parents encouraged good performance, they no where near put as much pressure on me as my friends’ parents did.
    It goes with understanding, I guess.
    I’m an intellectual person, I believe in school, books, education.
    For more artistic types, or people gifted in other areas, different forms of education would make more sense. We’ve all been gifted in one are or the other; it is to discover and hone those skills, adding expertise to all you do.
    Going to Uni is really not everything.

    I feel sorry for the emotional and mental pain those suicide victims went through just before their death. Sometimes encouraging words or kind gestures do wonders; but ultimately it’s really down to parents to instil some basic level of self-confidence in their kids. It was because they felt a failure that they decided to end their lives. Having a certificate/degree does not make you any more or less a failure..

    • DeMorrieaux

      August 23, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      any less a SUCCESS*

  20. Cynthia

    August 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    BN , thanks for this piece, been waiting for someone to talk about how education Is highly overrated, and the pressures one face from parents and peers, all in the quest for success,being educated formally is not the only way to succeed, there are informal jobs and skills one can aquire

  21. neesha

    August 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    calling all nigerian parents,.,.,no disrespect,.,.,but i think the pressure nigerian parents put on youngins (ala secondary to uni) of this generation to succeed academically is breathtakingly overwhelming to say the least. its academic exellence with straight up A’s or nothing else. this isnt necessarily bad but they need to realize not everyone one will be a lawyer, doctor or engineer and thats fine because academia is not the true test of ones intelligence. i see the magic ppl create with their initiative and hands and i am always awed!what happened to vocational training, honing a craft, learning a trade. sure formal education is great, but IT IS NOT THE END ALL BE ALL! this especially hurts me because it hits home. i come from a family of academics. sister is a doctor, brother is a civil engineer,.,.,when my turn came to go to uni,.,.my dad wanted me to study law,.,.,i hated it,.,.all of it,.,.three years of torture!i graduated with a 2:2. i fell into depression,.,.felt like a failure and felt like i’d let my parents down.,..,then something happened, it was like i had an epiphany,.,.i just knew i had to take control of my life,.,.the legal route was’nt for me i knew dat 4 a fact, so it was either i followed my dreams or mope around feeling sorry for myself.,.,i had d talk wif pops,., ,a year later i got an mba with distinctions,.,.,.did lots of work experience to develop skills and here i am today pr consultant in a multi national firm. i love my job nd d perks that come with it. i look back at my uni days and laff,.,u will always be mediore at best in wat u lack passion for.,.,d possibilities of wat one can do in this world is limitless. my dad is so proud and he constantly expresses regret in making me study law.,.but im thankful,.,because it really doesnt even matter now,.,.its sad that these youngins will take their lives for something as trivial as waec!if only they cud reflect back some years and see really how unimportant it is. everyone has dat unique something,.,u just need to discover it!

  22. giggy

    August 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    this should be a wake up call for all of us. especially those who know how to kill others with hurtful words. words heal, words kill!

  23. Cynthia

    August 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    As I was saying, there are informal jobs and skills one can acquire, pls parents should encourage their kids and give them the freedom to be what they want to be, stop forcing ur kids toreador professional courses, doctors, lawyers and all.

  24. Chuck

    August 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    The issue is highly under-reported. I have heard from my wards that more than four (4) students have taken their lives at various times for failing exams in one university alone within 2012. This is a phenomenon that needs to be exposed by the media houses so that parents can be sensitised enough to be careful how they push their children because of certificate.
    We have placed so much value on paper certificate, ‘first class’ and level of experience that it has become a vicious deadly cycle.

  25. rita power

    August 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    It ‘s not how many times u fall but how u can rise again,many great men and women who are made or whose names after death still lives face more terrible things than u think,just hear people’s stories,n u will thank God 4 urs. Catherine kuma fell but rised with greater anointin. most times we go thru a test to get our testimony, so u can see how foolish it is 4 a child 2 kill himself becos he failed exams, afterall bill gates was a drop out n many more of them who are made. school is not 4 everybody, to every one diff talents.

  26. Sydney

    August 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Getting a degree is such a big deal in Nigeria that it’s starting to make little sense to me. My reasons

    1) we are still backward in our thinking-

    2) So many graduates in Nigeria are jobless

    3) GEJ has a PHD but is so effing dumb.
    Even Patience says she was a teacher…LMAOO

    4) Nigeria is run by criminals. I know a polytechnic drop out who is currently a senator. I’m sure more of them exist. I’m sure some of these leaders cannot even read. Lol

    5) I told a woman I was switching from Law to Int’l relations and the woman said ” From Law to int’l relations? What is that?” That mentality is effed up

    6) I went to a private uni in Nigeria (law). Left in 2003 and half of the time i was there it seemed like they were worried more about how the girls dressed than what was being taught and creating a better study environment. My second day of class, An agaracha prof humiliated me in class for a dumb reason and said, “oh, you think because you tall&slim you can act the way you want? Get out of my class” I wonder where that witch is today.

    7) People are putting pressure on Davido and Wizkid to finish school.. when they are clearly happy following their dreams/ true passion and being successful at it. Going to school should be a personal thing and no one should force you.

    8) As a Nigerian woman, no matter the degrees you acquire in this world, you will be considered worthless if you are man-less and child-less.

    9) schooling in Nigeria is unnecessarily tough! I don’t know if people are there to really learn how to hustle/survive or learn about their programs. Some students are learning how to acquire power and avoid being victims by joining cults. It’s just sad.

    We judge ourselves based on standards created by society but fail to understand we are all individuals and our choices should be based on what we want. Until we can develop a “strong sense of self” we will continue to be slaves to our society(that continues to hold us back), We will not achieve our true calling, we will never take risks. Fela, Charlie Boy, 2face, D’Banj, Genevieve, Omotola, M.I etc will not be who they are today if they did not stick to their dreams and avoid the same damn route. Life has so much to offer for you to narrow yourself to one way of thinking.

    Education to me comes from within. Im in school but school is worthless to me if I know that I’m not learning shit and cant apply what I’m paying to hear to the things I want to do in my life. Bill Gates, the founder of blackberry and Mark Zuckerberg don’t have degrees yet they rule our world. If you don’t need WAEC to get to where u want, I say eff WAEC

    • Purpleicious Babe

      August 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      well said.. but Bill Gates now has a degree… and i think some of them completed their degrees.
      Aside from that I agree with your points and line of reasoning.

      I can totally understand how suicidal seems like the easy way out.(will blog about it soon). Its easy to pass judgment but until you go through some challenges, you cant understand some people mindset and decisions. I suppose to an extent it feels like a better alternative to escape the endless criticism and mental pressure from society, media, friends, families etc.

      Pls lets encourage anyone that is depressed or feels depressed. its actually a sad sickness and its real too. Its not about demons oh, or binding the devil, its about encouragement and positive energy. DELIVERANCE IS NOT THE ANSWER to everything if the proper procedures are not in place to facilitate a better approach.

      God bless their souls..

  27. mama

    August 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I really can relate to this. After spending years studying a professional course, I felt empty and unfulfilled at graduation. Meanwhile, admission and wassce was a do or die affair. It was one exam you couldn’t fail as passing it would grant you peace of mind at home. People need to stop taking life so seriously. Granted, passing wassce is the foundation to everything in Nigeria. Its also not something worth dying for. There is a whole world out there, waiting for discovery. It doesn’t have to happen in the classroom.

  28. Sydney

    August 23, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    The founder of Blackberry dropped out of uni and later became the chancellor of the school he attended..
    I believe in following your dreams so that you will shine and be fulfilled. if you feel the need to go to school for your passion then do it.

    Nigerians should understand why they should go to school first. Take your time. This is why a lot of us international students will attend these schools and spend so much money on law, engineering, accounting etc and move back home to become stylists, designers, entertainers, tv and radio hosts..etc.

  29. Henry

    August 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    I wrote my first waec after sleepless night and all stress, it was a failure. I wrote neco it was a disappointment. I also wrote GCE it was too embarrassing that i was desperate. I decided to enter into trade after some years, last year i wrote GCE with less seriousness i succeeded. Sometime people work very during exam but no success. I advise everybody to be patient because destiny can be delayed but not stopped.

  30. konnie

    August 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    may their souls rest in peace!!!!

  31. Ideas

    August 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Unfortunate, parents should learn to make friends with there children, supporting them morally in addition to finance. There is really a whole lot of problems in Nigeria today when it comes to education. The paper is most often considered over what one is able to do, consequently it take s a lot of courage & planning to succeed without it in this country. Workers, teachers in particular are paid peanuts, often owed months of salary, you are expected to work in that condition or face the treat of sack or guns pointing at you when you go on strike protesting for the things not right that is destroying the standard of the system. In this case bribery sets in since u cant work without pay. Resorting to getting an extra work means less time for your children. At the end, the same govt. cries; the standard of education is falling, The money they denied education, they use to form committees of inquiry, also buy gun, ammunition & patrol vans to deal with the same people they denied, some turned criminals. Not knowing that by the time they spend on education, they are solving a lot of problems at the same time & also saving lives and money. I want to say that Nigeria does not value what she has, the reason patriotism is scarce, & many trying to leave the country, 2012 Olympic is just a pointer. May God help us.

  32. efe

    August 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Just speechless,l wonder how it got to the level of them thinking of SUICIDE.God have MERCY

  33. Sydney

    August 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    And some of these parents can talk but they weren’t getting A’s B’s during their time o! Get to know your children individually. As a parent, you should know what your children want, their strengths& weaknesses, and support them. I hope new/ parents that come on Bella are reading this and taking it in? Parents in the older generation are usually very hard to convince
    and so I think its best to allow them live in their own world. Sometimes they able to learn when they see the consequences of their actions.

    I thank God my parents fully support all that I do and never try to talk me out of it.

  34. mekyno

    August 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Destiny is not attached to how educated you are but to the will of why kill yourself

  35. deborah

    August 23, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    dis news is so parthetic.i feel 4 d fmly of dose girlz.d truth is dat wen all hope is embeded on a particular tin and it later turns out negatively.u’l feel so bad.nw in terms of education,it feels like all u”v laboured 4 is in vain,as if d world and d people in it despices u.but all d same we all gat 2 take life easy.we are all visitors and will go back 2 our abode one very gud day.may der soul rest in perfect peace.AMEN

  36. lahips

    August 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Its’s rather sad, may their souls rest in peace, to Parents out there, you should be able to encourage a child even in the face of failure, also i think Nigerian’s have come to a stage where we need more and available counsellors to speak with people especially when they are many strange things are happening everywhere, this is not the Naija behaviour i grew up knowing

  37. Adekanmi Raphael

    August 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    We have to understand that God time is the best, death is not the end nor solution.I felt bad for them. Our youth should focus on God

  38. iyagba D. T

    August 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    WORDS seem to influence the actions of persons, particularly the ‘like Minds’. We hear ‘Be A Millionaire’ and most persons are captivated to becoming one overnight and involve in un- ethical means of being one: Recently, Suicide Bombers and this is beginning to impart negatively on our youths, who are giving in, to commiting suicide lately– May we mind our language, not to be Sensational, but realistically present issues, ‘by hard work’ .

  39. yemi Adeleke

    August 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    All comment I have read so far keeps blaming parents….. Y? Have we tot about how friends criticise one another,Turning them in to a livestock, boasting to them of the admission they just got in universty or polytechnic. How they will soon be a graduate nd they will still be struggle with weac certificate…. The 1 U keep company with sometimes contribute to ur depression or happiness. Most times we set a Target for ourselves forgetting all about destiny…. The will of God in our lifes. Then when we fail this target, depression will come nd 1 will start contemplating on what to do lookin for options. Though I agree wit Laolu that say somefin on foreing movies that look @ suicide as honourable thing to do wen u fail. But I suggest that student going thru stuffs should talk to some1 if not therapist. Though Education is important but is not evrything… I seek for admission in UNI more than 3time b4 ending in a polytechnic now in HND1. Am udergradute. But I have 6 to 7 gradutes nd they re all in business not practise their profession.

  40. Peter

    August 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Oh, my God!…wish they know better that education is not the utimate in life. We all have made wonderful comments in dis regard…i blv if they had heard of all these they wud hav spared their lives…maybe nobody has told them that education is not necessarily in comformity wit one’s destiny. Wen i was in sec. school physics was my best subject…bt it’s over ten years since i left sch and i hav not gotten my physics hence i cudnt further my education…i guess u know wot dat means. So, education is not test for intelligence…but stil life goes on. Am no longer a baby but am stil tryin after ten attempts…i knw i’l make it sum time. Oups!…they couldn’t hav done dat to themselves! Life is life wit or witot education…mmmm! RIP!

  41. kiki

    August 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Not to make light of this situation, I think its a horrible thing to do, but to take ur own life over an exam you failed a few times is just crazy and outrageous. I failed my waec and nabtech (watever they call it now) more than 3 times all because of math, i hated math and still do with a passion, but that didn’t make me wanna kill myself, it just made me more determined and i was very happy the day i passed it with a C.

    I think people go through alot worse without even thinking of suicide and you kill urself over failing an exam, there are people in worse situation with no food to eat or place to live. why give urself a first ticket to hell.

    Anyway May their souls RIP, i won’t pretend to understand what was going through their minds when they committed this act, cuz i don’t. i just feel like this a crazy reason to kill urself.

  42. Pat.

    August 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    That’s very bad, parents need to know that our children need to be directed, not just providing money for their needs, they need spiritual,social and moral support.

  43. kem

    August 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    some parents are not supportive, you probably wouldnt know the kind of insult and depressing words their parents would have rendered in them even though it not a reason to take ones life, that is life when you are closer to God, no matter how depressed you are, you can always run to him on your knees and find comfort when sad…..parents should learn to show love and encourage their teenagers…..many lack that and it throws them into wrong hands, bad cult etc… as much as they didnt get their grades , if encourage to do other things they could have gotten passion for one or two things then grow later from there………eveerything still goes back to parents, cuz parent could as well be friends to their kids, so even when friends tries so hard to bring them down, there would always be someone they can run to, to encourage and lift them up, but when your own parent would curse you, such teen would be left alone to suffer with heartbreak and depression….. train up a child in the way he should grow and when he is old, he will not depart from it..,… matter the peer pressure, the child will always know their root…………personally i tap into these words because it helped me greatly

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