Education Systems

  • US professor was startled when a Burmese student proudly claimed that he had all-round Ds [for distinctions] back in Burma.
    In that system: “D” means grade 1 (lowest), and “A” means grade 4 (highest).
  • In the initial stages of the new education system, a student must have at least 75% attendance; otherwise one cannot take the examinations.
  • Getting a grade 1 in any subject means failing the whole examination.
  • To pass the examination, each paper must have at least a grade 2, and the average grade must be at least 2.5.
  • Some professors are not keen on making too many moderation.
    Some students got penalized for “not taking minor subjects seriously”.
  • In ’64, there were three intakes.
  • About 500 students were admitted to the first ever 1st B.E. Also, their admission was based not on total marks, but on the controversial ILA (Intelligence Level Aggregate), using the “distribution curve” for each subject.
  • About 320 students were admitted to the first ever 2nd B.E.
  • About 200 students were admitted to the first ever 3rd. B.E.
    Saya U Myo Myint Sein (A) would say that Saya Sai Yee Laik (A 68) stood “first and last in his class”.
  • In the “newer” education system, a student needs 5 years to get a B.E.
    One gets an AGTI after the first two years, and a B.Tech after another two years.
  • The terms “old” and “new” are relative.
  • We took the last ever 7th std Government exam in 1960.
  • The “new” system had 8th std Government exam.
  • We took the first ever High School Final /HSF only (9th std Government exam) in March ’62 with the security forces patrolling the city.
    The exam results were annulled, and we were asked to take another exam a few months later.
  • In the “old” system, the students take the HSF & Matriculation combined exam.
  • We took the first ever Matriculation only (10th std Government exam) in May ’63.
  • Consequently, those who were one year senior to us in High School graduated two (or even 2.5) years ahead of us.
  • In an “old, old” system [following second world war], anyone who is confident can [take “jump promotions’ and] take the HSF & Matriculation exam.
  • When Rangoon University reopened in 1946, three siblings Dr. Pe Nyun, Dr. Pe Thein and their sister — joined entered the University together.
  • The “old” Rangoon University allowed “compartmental” system.
    One needs to re-sit only the subjects that one failed (in the first exam – usually in March) in the “supplementary” exam – usually in June.
    Note however that those who apply for scholarships/stipends must pass all subjects in the first exam.
  • Sayagyi U Ba Toke did not take the first exam because he was in a college strike camp.
    He was the sole student to take and pass all subjects in the supplementary exam, but without access to scholarship/stipend and with persuasion from the Mathematics teachers, he struck off the choice of becoming an engineer.
    For details, read the book by Saya Dr. Khin Maung Swe (“Maung Thinchar”, GBNF).

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