GBNF

GBNF : Brother Clementian

Update : May 3, 2020

Brother Clementian

  • Brother Clementian was Brother Director.
  • He was at St. Peter’s High School in Mandalay in 1956 when three Peterites — Ye Myint, Thoung Tin and Khin Maung Than — stood First, Second and Joint Third in the whole of Burma in Matriculation.
    Than Myint (Harry Wang, SPHS) was Joint Third.
  • He taught us Mathematics in our Matriculation class in 1963.
  • We appreciate his qualities.

Qualities

Passion

After retirement as a Brother Director, he continued teaching Mathematics passionately until he passed away.

Huge heart

His younger brother had a Doctorate, but his teaching was not valued as highly as that of Brother Clementian, who did not have a Doctorate but had a huge heart.

Fairness

He did not care if a student is a son of the President, Prime Minister, Minister or a high ranking official.

He treated every student fairly.

Leader by example

He taught us not only Mathematics, but how to be an ethical and effective teacher.

Tolerance

He would start a class with a prayer, but he did not insist the students to join.

The students may pray in their own way, or just stand still.

Lots of preparation

Even though he had taught Mathematics for years, he still prepared thoroughly.

In addition to the prescribed texts (e.g. Hall & Knight, Siddons & Hughes, Sequence Geometry), he had several other Mathematics texts (e.g. used at Rangoon University).

Every students has to have two (or more) sets of exercise books. He would grade the homework and call those who did not do well for “extra class”.

Interaction with the students

After teaching a topic, he would ask one or more students to go to the blackboard to show what they have learned and to solve selected problems.

No Rote Learning

He did not encourage rote learning.
He also taught us not to impose unnecessary “restrictions”.
For example, if he asked a student to draw a triangle, it should be an arbitrary one (not restricted to isosceles, right or equilateral triangles). It should be labeled differently from the one used in his example.
It is sad to hear that some present day students do not get marks if they deviate from “rote learning”.

Perfect Practice

Every student would have two (or more) exercise books, so that he can collect and grade the homework. Every week, he would give a test of three questions to be answered in one hour. This training prepared many students to complete six questions in the Matriculation examination much earlier than the allotted three hours and score Distinctions.

Acknowledge gifted students

He acknowledges that some students (e.g. Min Oo) are gifted and have learned beyond High School Mathematics.

Min Oo went on to have two Doctorates from Germany and teach in Canada, US and Germany.

No Inspection Allowed

It was customary for the Director (e.g. Brother Felix) or the Sub-Director (e.g. Brother Urban) to inspect the classes and give punishment to the rowdy students.
Brother Clementian would not allow the Brother Director or the Sub Director to come near his class.

Control

He could control the class.
Many remember his smile.
A few remember the strong finger that he used for poking at “badly behaving” students.

Last Journey

  • Brother Clementian was loved by many people (especially his former students).
  • When he passed away, the cortege left from St. Paul’s High School (SPHS) to the Tamwe Christian Cemetery.
  • When the cortege arrived at the Cemetery for the Burial Service, many cars were still leaving SPHS.

Previous Years

  • In the previous years, there was a single examination for High School Final and Matriculation.
  • The students had to take Burmese, English and Mathematics.
  • Those who plan to study Science can take Physics, Chemistry and Additional Mathematics.
  • Brother Clementian taught Mathematics and Additional Mathematics.

Dr. Nyan Taw (SPHS63) wrote :

  • Brother Clementian taught us mathematics in high school.
  • We were the last lucky group (A&B) he taught before he retired. Min Oo [who completed two Doctorates in Mathematics in Germany and taught in Canada] was in Section A whereas I was in Section B.
  • The best maths teacher ever !!!

U Than Win (SPHS63, RIT69er) wrote:

  • Whenever I find “Sequence Geometry” in the old stock of books I always remember our great Maths teacher.
  • We love and revered but sometime we feel somewhat frightened whenever we lack preparation.
  • The most remembered word in this geometry book is QED (which is to be proved) because he always stare at us and stressed the word whenever the problem is solved.
  • Gone, gone, but still in our heart.

Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint (SPHS60) wrote :

  • I have forgotten the name of the mathematics textbook.
    It was a government prescribed one.
    There was another book to used in college.
    Brother Clementian finished the first book but blithely went in with the book for Intermediate A during our matric class.
    It made the questions in Additional Maths easier for us because of this.
  • There was only one person who could beat Brother.
    Myo Myint would shout that he could work out the solution — provided by Brother Clementian — using less number of steps.
    And he was always correct.
    At the end of his working out each tine, Brother Clementian would turn to Myo Myint and ask “Can you do better?” which Myo Myint often could.

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