THE LIFE OF A GREAT EDUCATOR (LATE MR YAKUBU SILA DIMKA)
“I planted, Apollos water but God gave it growth” to localize this statement from the bible, GOSA could say, COCIN planted, Dimka also watered but God gave it growth ’if peoples’ life were books, then Late Dimka’s life would be a library.
Mr. Yakubu was born on the 25th April, 1952 in a small town called Tuwan-Kabwir of Kanke LGA in Plateau State, Nigeria. He attended the Demonstration Primary School in 1959, later the SUM Primary School Lungpe in the same year and also SUM Primary school Tablung from 1969-1963. Because his father was an itinerary Evangelist, he was later transferred to SUM Primary School, Amper and Native Authourity Primary School Pankshin in 1964 and 1965 respectively.
Between 1966 and 1970 he attended the prestigious Boys’ Secondary School and obtained his O’level certificate between 1971 and 1972, he also obtained his HSC from the same institution. His quest for more academic knowledge led to his admission into the famous University of Northern Region – ABU Zaria from 1973 to 1976 where he studied Animal Production. After working for about three years he proceeded to University of Jos from 1979 – 1982 where he obtained his P.G.D.E. Realizing the urgent need to properly handle the challenge of discipline and character development among students he went back to University of Jos for a second masters degree to study Guidance and Counselling from 1989 - 1993.
Mr. Y. S. Dimka was a workaholic and a committed teacher, he started a lifelong career as a teacher in BSS from 1973, but heeded the clarion call to serve his fatherland as a corps member at Federal Government College in Ogun State between 1976-1977. He returned to BSS immediately after his NYSC programme and remained selflessly committed to the teaching job until his demise in 2014. He is akin to saying “BSS is my life” to reflect the sentimental attachment he had to his job. As a staff of BSS Mr. Dimka has held many reputable posts and performed exceptionally well in all offices entrusted to him in BSS, church and community. From a teacher in BSS, to a House master in 1977-1979, staff in charge of farm and livestock, acting Principal 1988-1989, and Principal from 1990 to 2014. Dimka had never faltered in exhibiting wisdom, tenacity, zeal and courage in carrying out all responsibilities given to him.
Mai goro, as students nicknamed him because he patrolled all facilities and students and students in check, he was a natural disciplinarian and consummate Christian who lived his life for others, he was a man on a mission, and he was a missionary per excellence, a man of humility who was willing to serve all, characterized by his unblemished integrity. Mr. Dimka was admired by both students and staff as a Principal with a radical sense of passion and committed his life to making sure that the culture of discipline, academic excellence and high moral standards where kept a prerequisite for schooling in BSS. He ensured that students were modelled into true and enviable leaders, sometimes through hard decisions and tough choices. Baba never rested as a principal until his last breath, he was everywhere at anytime, supervising and making sure both staff and students did what was right irrespective of status and personality. He was a light that shined in a decaying generation. Typical of him was that he never expected a reward for his sacrifices in Gindiri.
He is a biological father of seven children, yet foster father to many, although none took after his agricultural career, they were all trained in the art of farming. He raised successful and godly children among which are, 1 veterinary and 2 Medical doctors, A Chemical Engineer, 2 Economists and a passionate Home Economist. He was a father to the core. Inspiring a sense of responsibility and dedication to school and work. He raised his kids to stand the challenges of a dynamic world. Instructive to say he was a disciplinarian who ensured Biblical principles where strictly adhered to by all.
Baba refined, mentored and nurtured over 20,000 students within his span of career as a teacher. As such he was greatly admired by students, staff, the church and parents. A man of integrity, prudent manager of resources, a team player and a mentor to all who knew him. He loved all and gave not just his time but also material sources to enable people who don’t have to cope. He was a giver.
As a trained agriculturalist, he made sure that the school farm produced some of the food requirement for the school and ensured that all students participated in this very practice. He believed life was equated to the stewardship of a farmer “You reap what you sow”.
Under his watch the school excelled in many academic activities by ensuring strict adherence to the curriculum. Students had excellent grades in JSCE, WAEC and NECO. He had zero tolerance to exam mal-practice and made sure he thoroughly sanctioned those who attempted it. The School won dozens of laurels, notably a student, for instance, Mr. Philemon Daniel won the best JAMB candidate in the country in 2005, Students have excelled in competitions organized by organization like NNPC, STAN, National Mathematical Centre, UAC, ANCOPS etc. The greatest virtue of the academic culture was the mental development of all students to bring out their best. Gindiri remains a reference point in all areas of human endeavor and Mr. Dimka’s students are a testimony of his sacrifice and resilience to turn out a catalog of quality young men who through character development have become a generation of exceptional leaders and successful professionals in all fields,. He gave his life to fulfil the vision of the missionaries who established the schools. While he served, BSS became an icon of educational development.
Teacher professional development was key in his administration, as he ensured that staff gained the exposure and experience through capacity development. He encouraged them to improve on skills and knowledge and also attend professional conference and trainings to equip themselves for the task ahead of them.
In maintaining the tradition of quality control, he ensure that the hostels and school facilities were maintained and adequately utilized, under his tenure he has renovated the staff quarters and classrooms and some labs, constructed a sickbay, converted the washing room to a food store, none the less, he has always decried the poor state of the hostels and dinning which continued to degenerate over the years. He has made sustained efforts to solve the perennial water problem in the school and provision of decent toilets for the students. The success story is overwhelming.
Typical of a successful teacher are the many recognitions he earned in his lifetime, notably, 2nd Best Principal in Plateau State in 1992, Distinguished Merit Award by GOSA 2000, Faithfulness Award by FCS in 2009, GOSA Lifetime Role model Award in 2010, a golden medallion as GOSA Ambassador of Excellence and integrity in 2010 and Distinguished Merit Award as one of the best (15) teachers in Nigeria by Thisday Newspaper. For his uncompromising stance on character development and academic excellence, his students awarded him the best disciplinarian of the century.
Perhaps, the secret behind Mr. Dimka’s 42 years service in BSS and almost 62 years life sojourn was his unflinching commitment to living a sincere and honest Christian life. He was a genuine Christian who was heavenly minded, he knew he was on earth for a mission and he committed his life to fulfilling that mission. His eyes remained consistent on the goal of making heaven, despite the numerous challenges he faced, especially in the last year of his life where he suffered a dilapidating ailment, his body became emaciated and weak but he never gave up his desire to see God at the end of his life, as traumatic as it were he still savored strength to talk about Jesus as the author and finisher of his faith. Although acquainted by excruciating pain and untold anguish, he never forgot his students, in fact he had a clear recollection of all who came to visit him on his sick bed. He held on to his beliefs and faith as a strong believer. Mr. Dimka finished his life a strong Christian after he had accomplished his mandate in life. A loving husband, an astute educator, a pragmatic teacher, a loving father, a great mentor, a passionate missionary, zealous farmer, a model of sacrifice and lifetime icon. He had ran the race, kept the faith and indeed has been crowned in glory. A man who lived and wrote his name in the hearts of many, who touched many souls and left an indelible footprints in the lives of many..
Zuhumnan Haggai and Bizuum Yadock