When Diwakar Chhetri became a Grade 8 class teacher at a school in Lalitpur, he did not realise he was the first male class teacher in the junior section. However, gender has never been a concern for Chhetri. He has heard fellow teachers say that men are more qualified to teach higher grades and women are more suited for primary school, but he knows that is an ill-informed stereotype. So is the belief that male teachers are better at science and maths instruction.
Chhetri is passionate about his profession, and he thinks that drive is much more important than whether a teacher is a woman or man. “It is not my personal mission to break gender rules but our patriarchal society has notions about what jobs are for men and which for women.”
Chhetri now teaches lower secondary grades, for students aged 9-13, and believes those are formative years for children because they need guidance, but also the freedom to explore. He says he became a teacher because his role model was his mother, a teacher as well. Some think Chhetri became a school teacher because he could not excel at any other profession, but he says they do not understand the value of the profession, including how important it is to bring up the next generation of citizens to know about their rights and responsibilities.
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