CMHSS - oldest surviving American Missionary heritage school in Nagaland turns 125 years

CMHSS - oldest surviving American Missionary  heritage school in Nagaland turns 125 years
CMHSS - oldest surviving American Missionary heritage school in Nagaland turns 125 years

View of the entrance of Clark Memorial Higher Secondary School in Impur, Mokokchung. (Morung Photo) 


Morung Express News
Impur | April 11

Located 15 kilometres away from the heart of Mokokchung town, Clark Memorial Higher Secondary School, in Impur attained 125 years of existence on April 11, 2020. 

Surrounded by Mopungchuket and Sungratsu villages under Mokokchung district, Clark Memorial Higher Secondary School (CMHSS) is recorded as the “oldest surviving American Missionary heritage school in Nagaland.”

The Ao Baptist Arogo Mungdang (ABAM) took over the school as its Home Mission since 2016. 

“At first the school opened as a Mission Training school on April 11, 1895 but now it has been upgraded to Higher Secondary school. It imparts not only quality education, but nurtures the students’ life spiritually,” ABAM records in its official website. 

At first, the Nagas from Dekahaimong (Mulong) met Dr EW Clark at Sibsagar when he was teaching some boys in a class room and his attention was drawn to these wild Nagas. This was the first invitation word from the Nagas to Dr EW Clark, “Come up to our Village in the hills, Sahib and teach our children to talk with books. We will give you our children that you may teach them the new way”.

“In 1872, Dr EW Clark came up and the first church in Naga soil was established at Dekahaimong. Even that time he spoke with the elders to open a school with the help of Godhula the first preacher of Assam,” ABAM records in its site. 

It mentions that Dr Clark came up to live and worked for the Nagas in 1876. Hence, in 1886 there were 8 Primary Mission Schools in 8 Villages with a total enrolment of 56 pupils. He had a vision to open High School also. Thus, he wrote to the Home Board in June 4 1888. “There should be a high school to take the best pupils of the village schools and give them good training for teachers and preachers.” Again in 1889 he wrote, “Without giving a Christian education to the Nagas, Christianity cannot be deeply rooted in the heart of the people.”

“In order to give better and more effective service not only to the Aos but also to the neighbouring tribes, it became necessity to move the mission station to a Central place and the Impur Mission Station was established in 1894. Here, the first thing to be done by this mission was to open a school.” 

 “The year 1894 shall always stand as a turning point and hallmark in the history of the mission work among the Aos. It was in this year that the three Missionaries – Dr Clark, Rev Perrine and Rev Haggard chose Impur to be the centre of Christian activities and outreach. Thus, this institution CMHSS came into being and is still surviving as American Missionary heritage school,” states ABAM.

CMHSS Principal, Chubainla Longchar informed The Morung Express that to commemorate the celebration of 125 years, the school has planned yearlong event which will culminate on November 6 with a grand programme.  

Standing tall with the motto ‘Towards Excellence,’ today CMHSS has over 300 students in the current academic year and 28 staff. “The school, being a mission based institute, gives special fee concession to church worker’s children,” the Principal said while highlighting some of the features of the School. 

She says that the School follows Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) course, provides scripture as a special subject apart with computer and other regular subject, conducts yearly spiritual awakening programme for spiritual growth, holds yearly teacher's refresher course and orientation, weekly drill as part of physical development, skills development activities on all working Saturdays like flower making, needle work, gardening, pot culture, basket making, creative crafts, treasure out of trash, carpentry, artworks to name some.” 

“We also conduct regular chapel and other activities to enhance leadership and competency among the students and organize annual student's educational tour etc,” she added. 

“The transformation that has come to life of many leaders and to our society through this school cannot be easily measured. This school has been the pioneer institution for years producing teachers for schools, evangelists and Pastors for churches. It is also worth mentioning that many students of this school have become Ministers, Secretaries, Directors, Engineers, Doctors even Chief Ministers of our state. The main purpose of establishing this school was for the expansion of the Kingdom of God through the gospel of Christ. Therefore, it is believed that the blessing of God is in this school for the Nagas. Thus the consistency of the standard is going on through the grace of God in his purpose. It is our prayer that God will never leave this school in destitute for the sacrificial handy work of the American Missionaries,” the apex body of the Ao Baptist churches, ABAM expressed in its site.