For archive (Updated on January 26, 2019)
I passed the final examination in April 1961 and was among the top five. Even with that result and an excellent resume, I found it very hard to get a job. I applied to many departments, but because Burma was not an industrialized country but based on agriculture and forest, engineering jobs were very scarce. At that time we would not have a clue and idea to apply for overseas jobs, e.g. in Singapore and many overseas shipping companies. We were the last graduates from the BOC College, as a matter of fact from a new complex, three storey with one on the left side of the building facing Prome Road. The ground floor was used as administration and office for clerical staff; the second floor for library; and the third for staff conference/meeting room. The adjacent extension also had three storeys. The ground floor of the first extension being used for car-park, the second and third floors being for lecture-theatres and offices for staff. The remaining two behind — used for lecture-theatres including T1, T2 and T3 and laboratories — were built not long ago in front of the BOC College building which was one storey building where some teaching staff and lecture-rooms and also engineering work shop with office for work shop superintendent and employees. The new complex was behind the Dome (Leik Khone) and also there was a rectangular shape pool of water in the front precinct including the Old BOC College that everything inclusive was the Faculty of Engineering, under the University of Rangoon.
I think in 1961 the whole faculty was moved to the new larger complex, a gift from Russia in Gyogone, Insein township and also because the scope of engineering education became more extensive the Faculty of Engineering was shifted to Gyogone in 1961 and it was named the Burma Institute of Technology (BIT) but still under the Rangoon University. That time Dr Maung Maung Kha was the dean of BIT as well as professor of the Department of Physics, Rangoon University and U Sein Hla was the registrar. Both were very friendly and generous in dealing with staff and students. But the Burma Institute of Technology was still under the Rangoon University without any autonomy and independent entity yet. With the introduction of the new education system in 1964 the Burma Institute of Technology was renamed again as the Rangoon Institute of Technology with its own rector and independent authority as an independent technological university status until July 1, 1988.
One day I was fortunate that I was called by Sayagyi U Aung Khin, head of the Mechanical through a friend U Aye (Mech. Retd. CE), my next door neighbour of my home town Moulmein and one year junior to me. Next day I went and saw him who asked me, whether I had an aptitude for teaching. As I was desperate to get a job I told him then and there that I was and on the same day 19 June 61 after writing an application, I got appointed as Assistant Lecturer through Sayagyi U Aung Khin’s generosity after the university senate approval. I will never ever forget Sayagyi U Aung Khin for his timely help to get a job for me when I was desperate after the job for which I appreciate, recognise and acknowledge his generosity, honesty and integrity as long as I live, I promise.
Medium of Teaching
When I got the job I had a pretty hard time in delivering my teaching of subjects and explanation in English because we were supposed to explain in English medium. Yes I tried a lot before I went into the class with a lot of practice in my room in front of the mirror; slow and steady I got the confidence and courage and I remember those four years from 61 to 64, it was a success that I could deal with the subject as well as the students. I felt quite satisfied because I enjoyed the company of students and their cooperation. Thank God for helping me out because I was educated not from a good grammar school but from an ordinary mission school where every subject was explained and taught in Burmese language and English speaking was not compulsory like Saint schools run by Catholic Mission.
Involvement with Students
A year later in 62 when U Aung Than (Mining) resigned to join the Mining industry, I got his job as a hall tutor in F-Block where only final year students were housed for two years until I got married in 64. Let me say something about the nature of hostels in Gyogone which was different from other hostels in Kamayut because there are only six adjacent 3 storey blocks namely A, B, C, D, E and F under three wardens who controlled and administered from their own residence on the campus for lodging, food, safety and security etc of students and each block had its own hall-tutor.
Only in C-Block we had hair salon, reading room and student recreation such as table tennis on the ground floor. Many students played Chin Lone the Burmese traditional sport a sort of soccer made of cane usually any number of players can take part and play. Also many students played soccer in front of the blocks between lanes after their class for relaxation before dinner and many other took stroll after their dinner around Gyogone area. It was really fun and game for all students during their stay in the campus. Most of them were very friendly, obedient and co-operative which are the assets to become law abiding and responsible citizens and leaders of tomorrow.
Before I forget let me say how generous was Sayagyi Rector U Yone Mo (I remember him as rector not as principal even though the Institute was still under Rangoon University) because he invited six hall tutors, U Tun Shwe (A-Block), U Myo Kyi (B-Block), U San Tint (C-Block), U Shwe Yi (D-Block), U San Tun (E-Block) and myself (F-Block) but U San Tun could not make it because he spent most of the weekends with his family in the city, to his residence in 8th Miles monthly to dinner with him over friendly conversation. I worked in that capacity for two years until I got married in April 64 and also U San Tun quit when he got married, so also U Shwe Yi got married and the rest three moved out and lived in A/L quarters like us slowly one by one. I moved out to live in the assistant lecturer quarters 16C (Upper East) being 4-units two storey building meant for four assistant lecturers and their families.
Also I like to add something about Sayar U Tha Tun, B.Sc, F.R.I.B.A. (Fellowship of Royal Institute of British Architects), A.A. Dip (Lond.), A.M.T.P.I. (Associate Member of Town Planning Institute), F.I.B.A., officiating head of Arch Dept, who came along with me sometimes to the hostels, ate and chat with me because we were best of pals.