Tittle: Teacher Dangana is a Cheat
Author: B.M Dzukogi
Publisher: Kraft books
Year of Publication: 2008
Genre: Junior Fiction
Reviewer: Musa Jemilah.
Is it negligence from the Headmasters or from the state government? B.M. Dzukogi’s Teacher Dangana is a Cheat is an interesting blend of hard work, creativity and dedication to evaluating the aura of bad governance, commitment, fear of failure, truthfulness, selfishness, disappointment, greed, negligence, discipline among other humanistic variables in a society.
The issue of classroom trading is obtainable in most government schools. Even though most managements have ruled out seizure of stuffs when caught, the business still blossoms in chameleon steps. Private schools are no exception to this, which is unfortunate for a supposedly developing society.
The Story of Teacher Dangana
This book resonates my personal experience during my primary school, where a presumed dull student surprisingly emerged as the best in class over the known bright pupils, only because “he/she” sells edible consumables like sweets and snacks for the class teacher. We, the classmates, marvelled but what could we possibly do? We all kept mum like zombies. Like the speed of light, it all happened fast and everything became normal before next session.
In this story, however, the teachers are not to be blamed. They were striving hard to survive the penury the state government has left them in. Sadly, they had to use lame excuses to guard their plot — adding marks to Mubarak and Joy simply because they helped Dangana to sell her Moimoi, Chinchin, Zobo and fried groundnut, which was uncalled for.
Parents enrolled their kids in good schools in order to help them achieve sound education. Jamilu’s father was proud that he thought Jamilu’s school was the best in the state. And he was right until Dangana begins with her greedy cheat.
What saddens one was the lackadaisical attitude of Jamilu’s mother. And one is moved to ask: why do men marry intelligent women if not to pay attention to their children’s performance and training? Jamilu’s mother was so busy with her business that she doesn’t care whether a child brings good results home or not. It is very saddening.
The Themes and Structure
Dzukogi applies didactism by telling the reader that teachers are nation-builders whose impact are of great deal, in the lives of students and society at large. A teacher should know when and where a little greed could work and not work. Like a mirror, whatever a teacher does, the student also copies.
Teacher Dangana should have also thought about the repercussions of her cheating, before involving in it. Moreover, children of this century are way smarter than one could imagine. As events unfold, Jamilu’s ability to understand Dangana’s plot is amazing. If only he confided first in his father, he wouldn’t have been punished. And his father would’ve tackled the issue, before it escalates.
Looking to how Jamilu, the protagonist has been worried and sick when the poor results were given to him, after he worked really hard for the terminal examination shows commitment.
To shy away from the punishment, Jamilu thought that hiding in the room would give the father enough time to vent his anger before he comes out. Unfortunately, “all bad plans don’t work out, only good plans do.” The Father’s way of punishing keeps show of discipline. To the best of his fatherhood, he taught him that there is absolutely no excuse for failure, and he (Jamilu) learned it the hard way.
Jamilu’s father models the ideal Nigerian parent whose motive is to inculcate good manners and moral ethics in their children. Though he loved Jamilu to a fault, but made sure he is well disciplined and committed. That which he impacted onto Jamilu is the truest love towards a child.
Teacher Dangana is a Cheat instructs a reader on the ideals of working hard, encouraging people to commit entirely to whatever they may lay their hands on, and understand that life won’t always be in one’s favour, and also, for a brighter future every child must study hard at least.
The book emphasizes children’s need for guidance and morale to boost their academic performance. Surprise your kids with gifts or even outings as incentives to encourage them to work harder. Just like Jamilu’s father, get your child(ren) prepared to win by raising winners-in-spirit. What other love could parents shower their children, if not one of a positive drive to thrive and survive obstacles?
Nevertheless, the pupils were bold to some extent, especially Habiba the former commissioner’s daughter, who first made the suggestion of reporting Mrs. Dangana.
James, Maijidda, Toyin, and Blessing are no exception. Their bravery to report their common nightmare to Uncle Saddiq, who in turn reported to the Headmistress is commendable. What is the fate of the pupils, after the former commissioner attended to the problem? Is teacher Dangana going to change for good?
The author’s ability to depict today’s Nigerian society on a moral compass is impressive. Also is a rather superficial incursion into how state governments in this part of the world neglect handful sectors of our primary-secondary educational system, which could kill the spirit of the citizens.
Possibly, in the future, no parent would want to enrol their kids in an inconducive environment where chairs aren’t made available nor books stock in library and delay in payment of teachers’ salary because of the ripple effects of such functional lacklustre in our education system. I will strongly recommend this book to enable the kids know and appreciate the importance of hardwork and grow with diversified intellectual abilities as well.
Musa Jamila is a current 200 level student of Biology Education at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai. A prize winner of 2019 Poetic Wednesday Poetry Contest. Jamila is passionate about Arts and photography.