Mr Cheli completed his Bachelor of Education (Hons) in English Literature from University of Otago, New Zealand and is certified in teaching English as a Second Language from Massey University, New Zealand. He also holds the National Professional Qualification of Educational Leaders (NPQEL) from MOE and has served as Vice Principal since 2007 for several schools including SMK Bandar Kuching (1) in Sarawak, SMK Sinar Bintang KL, and SMK Menjalara KL.
Mr Cheli is the founder of the ‘Reading Bus Club’, an NGO that provides books to marginalised children in rural and urban poor communities. The HELP or ‘Helpful English Language Programmes’ won him the Innovative Teacher of The Year Award in 1994. He also founded ‘Positive Attitude Builds Character’ (www.pabc.my), an Attitude Management System that empowers students to take ownership of their education. In his last year of service in public schools, Mr Cheli initiated and coordinated the ‘Cutting Edge Zones’ (CEZ) which involves the digitalization of classrooms to transform the way teachers teach and the way students learn.
As a reflection of his extraordinary 36-year career in education, Mr Cheli has won the ‘Excellent Service Award’ from the Ministry of Education on five occasions (1994, 2003, 2009, 2013 & 2019); an achievement very few public servants in Malaysian history have attained.