Updated on March 11, 2019
- Sacred Heart
- St. John’s Dio
There are several ways to classify schools.
A school may be Public or Private. In most countries, Private schools are expensive than Public schools.
One classification — used in the Colonial times — is based on the language used for instruction.
- Vernacular : all (or most) instruction in the native language (e.g. Burmese)
- Anglo-Vernacular : Mixed language (e.g. English and Burmese)
After the 1920 University Students’ Strike, National Schools were established.
- Thakin Kodaw Hmaing served as Principal of Amyotha College in Bahan, Rangoon.
- Arzani U Razak was Principal of a National School in Mandalay. He was known for religious tolerance.
- U Thant taught at a National School. U Nu — as Principal — helped with the accreditation of the school.
- U Po Kyar is a distinguished educator and author.
There were Missionary schools run by different religious order. The following list is not exhaustive.
- De La Salle Schools were established by Roman Catholic Brothers
- Convent Schools (e.g. St. Philomena’s) were run by Mother Superior
- ABM Schools were run by American Baptist Mission.
- Diocesan Schools were run by the Anglican.
- Methodist Schools were run by the Methodist.
There were Chinese schools (e.g. Hwa Kyone, Nan Yang). Most of the students, who could not continue their college studies overseas (e.g. in China), have to transfer to the “regular” schools and take the Government examinations.
We attended PPBRS (Private Primary Boundary Road School) founded by Daw Tin Tin Aye (GBNF) with the assistance of her sisters Daw Yi Yi (GBNF) and Daw Khin Khin Aye (Teacher Ah Mar, GBNF).
The school then had Infant (C), (B) and (A) corresponding to LKG, MKG and HKG (Lower, Middle and Higher Kindergarten). We had to use slates, paper and pencil (unlike the gizmos available to the present day kids). As a young kid, I was not keen to go to school. Many years later, my beloved mother would send me to pay respect annually to Teacher Kywe (a Karen Christian) who “transformed” me into a life long learner. TK would proudly introduce me to her students. That was my Micro-SPZP.
Saya Gadaw Pwe has a religious connotation. Saya Pu Zaw Pwe transcends religions. Several organizers and Golden Sponsors of SPZP-2000 do not profess Buddhism, but they all want to pay back to their mentors for their metta, karuna and cetana.
My primary school classmates include Ko Nay Win (M69, GBNF), Ma Tin Tin Nu (Elizabeth, daughter of Saya U Kyaw Tun (EE), Ph.D in English), Ko Han Tun (SPHS and DSA), several from the Burmese Film Community (Sut Su, Shwe Gaung Byaung, Thamankyar, …).
My seniors include Ko Tin Maung Thant (GBNF, son of UNSG U Thant), sons of Arzanee U Ohn Maung, Sandaya Kun Maung and Kun Zaw, …
I joined Standard IV(D) at SPHS (St. Paul’s High School) taught by Ms. A Benjamin. Ko Tin Tun (M69) also joined from another school. Ko Tin Tun’s mum would come and feed him at break time.
Ko Norman Thant Zynn’s mother taught a different section. Ko Norman’s cousin Tin Tun (V Stiles) played alongside Suk Bahadur in the Burma Selected Soccer team.
SPHS is the second school founded by De La Salle Brothers in Burma. St. Patrick’s High School (Moulmein) was the first. St. Peter’s (Mandalay), St. Albert’s (Maymyo), St. Joseph’s (Loikaw), St. Columban’s (Myitkyina), Twante School (mainly for the Orphanage) … followed.
The Brother Superior is in charge over-all. Each school is managed by a Brother Director. Some schools have a Juniorate and/or a seminary to groom aspiring Brothers and Clergies.
Edwin David (GBNF) was a Father in charge of the Cathedral (near Sacred Heart and SPHS).
Bernard Taylor returned from his missionary work in Asia (Philippines …).
Other schools include : Methodist (English, Burmese, Chinese), Convent (St. John’s, St. Philomena’s, …), Diocesan (St. John’s, St. Mary’s, …), ABM, Cushing, Central, Myoma, TTC, Chinese (Nang Yan, Hwa Kyone, …), …
IV Standard students from selected schools sat for the Government examination and could win scholarships.
My class teachers include
Ms Benjamin (IVD)
Ms Boudville (VD)
U Pe Tin (VID)
U Nge (VIID)
Brother Anthony (VIIIA)
Brother Xavier (IXA)
Brother Austin (XA)
Most of my teachers (class, subject and relieving) are GBNF.
How did I learn English? Not so easily.
Miss Hong Kong (Amelia Kyi) taught us English in VI and VII standards using the carrot and the stick. My daily pocket money was 25 pyas. I would be fined 50 pyas if I failed in a weekly English test, but I would be rewarded 50 pyas if my scores are super.
Brother Xavier taught us English in VIII and IX standards mostly using red ink and the stick. He would first give 100 marks (perfect score) for any paper or test and then subtract 10 marks for each error (spelling, grammar …). One of my classmates received -230 (minus 230) written in red in his report card. He would ask a student to stand on the chair or kneel in front for “blatant” violations of Grammar. According to Ko Zaw Min Nawaday (St. Albert’s 64), Brother Xavier stopped using the brute-force techniques.
Brother Austin taught us English and “Morals and Manners” in X standard mostly using the carrot. He was a Librarian for SPHS Library. He said, “Don’t copy from your friends. You’ll waste your time and my time.” He reminded me not to write very small, since it will hurt his eyes and reduce my score. He would reward students who could recite verses from “Morals and Manners” by letting them “time off” for the rest of the period and handing out surprise gifts (e.g. a UK or European soccer match played with his 8mm camera). I won a ticket to see “1960 Summer Olympics at Rome” at the Thamada (President) Cinema. I am not sure if these kind of incentives will be effective in the present time.
My parents and my uncles bought me books, magazines, cartoons, comics, … in both Burmese and English. Most of them cost less than two kyats. My early prizes include fairy tales, Aesop’s Fables (translated by Min Yu Way and Ngwe Tar Yi), … So, I had Thin Saya, Myin Saya and Kyar Saya.
I matriculated in 1963. The schools were nationalized a year or two later.
The new and newer Education Systems and their implementation affected the “rational” thinking of many students and parents. The controversial ILA system accentuated the mess up.
During our SPHS days, the shop was located near the Gate of Bo Aung Kyaw (Sparks Street).
It sold bread, Bombay Toast, cream buns (favorite of Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint and U Ngwe Tun) and raisin buns (favorite of U Tin Aung Win).
Vendors sold Mohinga and other food in the open building which is used for Drill Practice.
Robert Win Boh wrote :
I like simple hot bread to carry home running in the our sack as we live in 32nd Street later 51st Street – 3 / 2 Blocks away.
The daughter of SHHS Bakery owner attended Sacred Heart High School. She was my classmate till Middle School Classes.
TTC stands for Teachers’ Training College.
In the early days, TTC had its own curriculum. It was different from those used in
- the English schools
- the Vernacular schools
- Anglo-Vernacular Schools.
TTC had a Practicing School.
Over the years, some refer to “TTC Practicing School” simply as TTC.
During our younger days, the teachers — who taught at State High Schools — were classified as
- SAT (Senior Assistant Teacher) — the training was done mostly at Kanbe.
- JAT (Junior Assistant Teacher)
- PAT (Primary Assistant Teacher).
Alumni of the TTC Practicing School include :
- Dr. Myo Tint (Younger brother of Saya U Ba Than ) — Third in Burma in the Matriculation of 1952
- Dr. Tin Myo Than (Son of Pali Professor U Aung Than) — Second in Burma in the Matriculation of 1954
- Saya U Phone Myint (Workshop Superintendent)
- U Win Aung (M70) — Lu Ye Chun for 10th Standard. He represented RIT in Swimming and Water Polo, and served as Secretary
- U Soe Win (EP70, ex-UCC, ex-PTC)
- U Kyaw Zaw (EC72, GBNF, ex-DAC) — Lu Ye Chun for 9th Standard. His spouse is a teacher.
- U Khin Zaw (ex-UCC)
After the first Rangoon University Boycott in 1920, National High Schools (Amyotha Kyaung) were established.
Myoma High School was founded by Sayagyi U Ba Lwin. He is the father of U Aye Maung, U Kyaw Nyein (USIS/USIA, GBNF), U Kyaw Thein Lwin (Burma Navy & Five Star Line), Saya Dr. Yan Naing Lwin (WIU) and U Than Lwin (US State Department). U Ba Lwin was a Chief Boy Scouts Master. He later served as Burmese Ambassador to Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
After nationalization, Myoma became No. (2) Dagon State High School.
Myoma — along with St. Paul’s High School, St. John’s Dioceasan Boys High School and Methodist English High School — is now a Yangon City Heritage site (with a Blue Plaque).
Sacred Heart is a school in Rangoon. It is close to SPHS (St. Paul’s High School).
Some SPHS teachers (e.g. U Nyunt Maung) also teach at Sacred Heart.
Heartians (alumni of Sacred Heart) include
- U Tin Htut (Harry, Mon Yu, M69)
- U Tin Aung Win (Oscar, M69)
- U Win Boh (Robert, EC69)
- Dr. George Hlaing Mya
St. John’s Diocesan
Saya Dr. Thein Hlyne, Saya Dr. Tin Win (M62), Saya U Moe Aung (EE63), and Saya U Kyaw Sein (M65) are alumni of St. John’s Dio.
Ko Zarnee Tun sent me the photo.
The school is now a Heritage Site in Yangon.
KMZ wrote :
Ko Sein Myint (EC76), Ko James Shwe (M76), Ko Aung Hein (EP76) and Ko Sein Htut (EP76) are some of the St. John’s alumni from my batch. I suspect Ko Myint Aung (EP76) might be from there as well.
Saya U Moe Aung wrote :
St Johns College ဆိုတာမမွန္ပါ။ St Johns Diocesan Boys’ School
ခုေခတ္လူေတြဟာ မေသခ်ာေတာ့ဘူး။ ေပါ့ဆတယ္ပဲေျပာရမလားမသိဘူး။
Please see the comments by KMZ and the reply by the Yangon Heritage Trust regarding the names of the school.