Moulding students to be good citizens: Tonko Bahadur Chetri, recipient of the State Level Teachers Award 2022

Mon: The headmaster of Green Valley School Mon received the State Level Teachers Award 2022 during the 61st Teachers’ Day celebration

BY | Thursday, 8 September, 2022

Tonko Bahadur Chetri has now covered nearly three decades working in the teaching profession. A recipient of the State Level Teachers Award 2022, he says he is a teacher not by option but by freewill.

The headmaster of Green Valley School Mon has collected much experience and wisdom over the years working in various schools and even starting his own school. The passionate educator aims at educating young minds to become good human beings first and then teaching them to understand the subject deeply rather than simply follow the old system of memorization.

Bahadur did his early schooling till primary level at Kistur Chandra Agarwala, Amguri. After passing his matriculation from Auniatia Hemchandra Dev Higher Secondary School in 1989, he pursued his college degree in Jagannath Barooah College and graduated in the year 1994.

Soon after graduation, he joined Agape Christian School in Mokokchung. When asked if he wanted to come and serve the children in need of a teacher, he says he accepted without any hesitation. He had plans to teach only for a few months before embarking on his post-graduate degree studies. However, the plan would not work out due to some circumstances. The next year in 1996, he moved to Mon Town and joined Ahngjon Mission School, Mon.  It was his uncle who offered him the job as he had a passion for teaching. In 2000, he shifted to St John’s School and served as a teacher there for 14 years.

Chetri testifies that after being a teacher for so long working in various schools, he had a dream of opening his own school. He was looking for an opportunity and after much effort, he found a location. In 2015, through a partnership with others, he set up a school in a distant village 5kms away from Mon Town, which was to become Green Valley School Mon. However, with low student enrolment of less than a hundred students, the management face difficulties in paying the teachers. After some time, the school was shifted to Mon Town to a building which was still under construction at that time. It was in Mon Town that student enrolment went up, reaching up to 450 students.  In 2010, the school appeared for the matriculation exam for the first time with 40 students and got a hundred percent result.

Chetri humbly declares that a mission was started by producing toppers. To this day, he serves as the Head Master of Green Valley School Mon.

As a teacher of great passion, he believes in having quality of dedication and sincerity regardless of whether a person is a private or government teacher. Chetri encourages young people especially the locals of the area to take up the teaching profession seriously, even more so than outsiders as they are dealing with the life of a child.

The headmaster recalls how 25 years ago, parents were reluctant to send their children to school. He points out that times have changed and parents have come to know the importance of education. Children had no zeal back then but now they have become competitive which is why Mon produces toppers, Chetri says. Thus, he makes it a point to challenge the children to change their mindset and to follow discipline and devotion.

Tonko Bahadur Chetri is now 49 years old, living in Mon Town with his wife, two daughters who were also bright students of his school, and a son in standard 7.

Chetri received the District Level Award in 2003. He again received the State Level Teachers Award 2022 during the 61st Teachers’ Day celebration in Kohima on 5 September.

The award has given him more responsibility, he reveals, to mould the students to become good citizens of this country.

The visionary teacher says his plan is to continue the journey of being a teacher. If opportunity comes, he wishes and looks forward to starting another new school in the town.


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