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Countdown to RU Centennial (9)

Shared “Interview with Sayagyi Dr. Chit Swe”

SAYA CHIT

Sayagyi was my mentor at UCC. We fondly call him “Saya Chit”.

I was fortunate to work on several of his Projects :

  • High School Mathematics (New Curriculum and Textbooks)
  • Children’s Treasury of Knowledge : Mathematics
  • Team of System Specialists

Yahan Khan in Saging Hills

Saya Chit and his family allowed me to join the Yahan Khan at a monastery in Sagaing Hills. The Preceptor gave a really long instruction (more than an hour) to Saya Chit and us.

Sayadaw was honored to be the Preceptor of Burma’s Computing Pioneer and Professor of Rangoon University.

In Yangon, most Preceptors will give minimal instructions to Temporary Monks.

Saya’s Modesty

Before joining Phaung Gyi Training School as Staff, U Myint Oo volunteered as Saya Chit’s Assistant at UCC. He would often accompany Saya Chit to Chauk Htutt Yone (Six Storey Office).

One office person unwittingly stopped Saya Chit and let U Myint Oo enter the elevator.

Saya’s Predecessors

Saya Chit’s predecessors were Sayagyi U Aung Hla and Sayagyi U Ba Toke.

According to Saya U Aung Zaw (ex-UCC), Saya Chit wanted to do graduate studies and/or transfer to RU. Sayagyi U Aung Hla advised Saya Chit to study / work at Mandalay University.

Per Saya Zaw, Saya Chit consulted Palmist Bogalay U Kywe. Saya Chit was told that he would get a Doctorate and become a Professor.

Saya Chit was selected as a State Scholar to do B.Sc (Special) at Imperial College, University of London. His hall mate (or room mate) was Saya U Ba Than (Mechanical Engineering).

Saya Chit held the fort at Mandalay during the period when Sayagyi U Net and Saya Dr. Ba Kyi were on deputation studying abroad.

Saya Chit did his Masters at the University of Glasgow. He followed his mentor to Liverpool University to do his Doctorate in Mathematical Statistics (Decision Theory).

UCC Project

While serving as Lecturer and Head of the Mathematics Department at the Institute of Economics, Saya Chit proposed a project which later became known as UCC Project.

When Sayagyi U Ba Toke was appointed Rector of Mandalay University, Saya Chit became Professor and Head of the Mathematics Department at RASU.

When the UCC Project was finally funded by UNDP (with UNESCO as the Executing Agency), Saya Chit also became the Founder / Director of UCC.

Post-retirement

Saya Chit retired as Rector of RASU.

Saya Chit moved to Bangkok, Thailand and finally settled in Sydney, Australia. He helped Myanmar graduate students till the very end (when he had medical problems due to Aging).

Saya Chit is a Prime Mover, a proponent of Life Long Learning and Knowledge Sharing, a Motivator to help bring the best of colleagues and students and a Confident but Humble Scholar.

Paying respect

During my visit to Sydney in 2006, Saya Zaw hosted a gathering to pay respect to Saya Chit and Saya Dr. Ba Hli (former Advisor for National Planning, former Board Member / Advisor for UCC).

Saya Chit asked me to meet young students. He gave me his hat.

I talked with Saya Chit a few weeks before his demise. His voice and memory were strong. He wanted to see Myanmar Education (including Information Technology …) rise as much as possible.

Saya is no longer with us, but his Legacy will live on forever.

May Saya rest in peace.

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