by Hla Min
Update : November 13, 2022
- There are 3000+ articles in my web site hlamin.com
- It is difficult if not impossible to revise all the articles.
- Note that the events described here mostly cover my personal journey as a University Student.
- Other events (e.g. from 1946 to 1970s) are covered in other Posts.
- I have honored Outstanding Matriculates (e.g. from 1951 to 1965) in other Posts.
We took the first ever Matriculation Only examination in 1963.
Paulians took 5 places among the Top Five, 7 places among the Top Ten, and 10 places among the Top Twenty.
- Khin Maung U (1st)
- Min Oo (2nd)
- Myo San (3rd, GBNF)
- Nyunt Wai (4th)
- Thein Wai (5th)
- Hla Min (7th)
- Johnny Maung Maung (Aung Kyaw Zaw, 9th)
- Maung Maung Kyi (11th)
- Aung Thu Yein (13th, GBNF)
- Frank Gale (Khin Maung Zaw, 17th)
We attended the last ever I.Sc.(A) class at Leik Khone.
Following the “Anniversary of 7th July, 1962” events, the major parts of the Universities (in Rangoon, Mandalay, …) were closed “for an unspecified period”.
Engineering and Medical Classes were spared at that time.
Subsequently, those who were only one year senior to us in High School graduated 2.5 years ahead of us (the Guinea Pigs of the Education Systems).
We joined Rangoon University Boat Club (RUBC).
We — the Paulians Crew — were Runners-up for Senior Novices.
Maung Maung Kyi (Bow)
Hla Min (2)
Kyaw Wynn (3)
Willie Soe Maung (Myint Soe, Stroke, GBNF)
Myint Thein (Cox)
We were awarded Full Green.
40th Anniversary Gathering
- Sithu U Tin, U Po Zon and U Tin Htoon (A60) compiled the Souvenir Magazine for the 40th Anniversary of the Founding of RUBC.
- Due to Security Concerns, the 40th Anniversary Annual Regatta was cancelled.
- President Sithu U Tin and the Patrons decided to hold the “40th Anniversary of the founding of RUBC” at a hotel in Kandawgyi.
Burma Institute of Technology
- My elder brother and several of my sayas graduated from the Burma Institute of Technology (BIT) in 1963.
- They were from the second batch of BIT.
- The degree conferred was B.Sc. (Engg).
- The New Education System was implemented in November, 1964.
- Most Faculties of the University of Rangoon became autonomous Institutes with their own Rectors.
- The Youth Affairs Department implemented Luyechun (Outstanding Students) Program in the Summer of 1964.
- Eligible students from 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th Standards were chosen to attend the Ngapali Shwe Wah Gyaing Camp in the Summer of 1964.
Rangoon Institute of Technology
In November 1964, three batches of students entered RIT (Rangoon Institute of Technology).
- 400+ were admitted to the first ever 1st BE using the controversial ILA (Intelligence Level Aggregate)
Ko Zaw Min was admitted as Roll Number One.
- 300+ who had passed the last ever I.Sc.(A) examination were chosen by merit to attend the first ever 2nd BE.
Ko Hla Min was admitted as Roll Number One.
- About 200 students who had passed the last ever I.Sc.(B) examination were admitted to the 3rd BE (formerly 1st year Engineering).
- Elected as Honorary Treasurer of RUBC (Rangoon University Boat Club).
I had to report to Professor William Paw (President of RUBC).
- Last Executive Committee member to be elected at the Annual General Meeting.
- Served as Vice Captain the following year.
- However, the higher authorities prevented me from becoming RUBC Captain by throwing away the Bye Laws and implementing their ad-hoc rules (e.g. selecting instead of electing Captain)
- Cherry Hlaing (Than Than Tin, St. John’s Convent) stood First in Burma.
She would be admitted as Roll Number One to IM(1).
She would be selected Luyechun for the Inlay Camp in the summer of 1965.
- Her grand father U Hoke Sein and her father U Saw Hlaing were also First in Burma.
- Her two children would also be First in Family.
- The record of five family members (spanning four generations) standing First in Burma is an enviable record that will not be broken.
- Lyn Aung Thet (MEHS64) had four distinctions and the same “raw” score, but his performance in Burmese caused him a lower ILA than Cherry.
- Aung Win Chiong (SPHS64) has the next best “raw” score.
He had a perfect ILA score of 50, and was admitted to IM(2) as Roll Number One.
- Maurice Hla Kyi (Min Lwin, SPHS64) was admitted to IM(2) as Roll Number Two.
1965 – 1969
Matriculation in 1965
- Bernard Khaw (SPHS65) had four distinctions (with 80+ marks in English) and stood First in Burma.
Due to the revised policy (e.g. 3 NRC requirement), he could not apply for professional courses.
He moved to USA and/or Canada.
- Aung Myint (SPHS65) had the second best “raw” marks.
He and his twin brother Maung Aye moved to USA.
- Winston Sein Maung (SPHS65, GBNF) had the third best “raw” marks.
- Cherry Than Tin had the fourth best “raw” marks.
She was admitted as Roll No (1) to MC (2).
- Yi Thwe (SPHS65) was admitted as Roll No (1) to MC (1).
- Paing Soe (Freddie, SPHS65) had same marks as Yi Thwe.
He was admitted as Roll No (2) to MC (1).
- Forty four Paulians were admitted to MC in 1965.
They are from the Last Batch of True Paulians.
- After Nationalization, St. Paul’s High School was renamed as No. (6) Botathaung State High School.
The consequences of the Coup d’etat include
- Disappearance of Democracy
- Nationalization of industry and schools
- Indiscriminate demonetization
- Increased censorship
- With every turmoil (effecting “National Security”), the universities, institutes and schools were suspended.
After the schools were nationalized, St. Paul’s High School became No. (6) Botathaung State High School. Some Brothers left Burma. A few indigenous Brothers remained in Ady Road. Brother Joseph was ordained as Father Joseph.
- The Luyechun Program was extended to include Universitites and Institutes in the Summer of 1965.
- I attended the Inlay Khaung Daing Lu Ye Camp in the summer of 1965 along with U Sein Shwe, Daw Khin Than Myint Tin and U Zaw Min Nawaday.
- MC(1) sent Cherry Hlaing, Khin Maung U, Anita Aye Pe and Kyaw Sein Koe (Victor, GBNF).
There were eight engineering departments
Most departments have associations. The RIT Mechanical Engineering Association was active. U Win Thein (M67, GBNF) was a Prime Mover. He co-founded Set Hmu Thadinzin and Mechanical Magazine. He co-organized activities.
The RIT Sports Council was headed by Saya U Maung Maung Than. U Maung Maung (Burma Selected in soccer) was Sports Officer. The associations for the various sports was headed by a saya.
Several RIT students were Burma Selected. They include Sai Kham Pan (Badminton) and Htay Aung (Swimming and Water Polo).
Saya Mao Toon Siong (former Burma Champion) was National Coach for Table Tennis. He also coached the RIT team which won the Inter-Institute Championship.
- In those days, the Electrical Engineering was headed by Saya U Sein Hlaing (Professor and Head).
- The senior sayas included U Kyaw Tun (saya of our sayas), U Tin Swe and U Sein Win.
- There were about 20 sayas. Five (or so) were on deputation for further studies abroad.
- For details, see “A Sad and Short Clip : EE Sayas“
EC and EP
There were two options : EC (Electrical Communications) and EP (Electrical Power). Per advice in the industry, only a quarter of the students were accepted for EC.
- There were 80+ EE students in the beginning.
Tin Tin (Anne) was the lone female EE student.
- At the end, there were 40+ EE students left.
- The EP students outnumbered the EC students 3 by 1.
- Several bright students played safe by choosing EP (which provided a job guarantee).
- We studied EC (Electrical Communications).
- Eleven of us graduated in 1969.
- Three (Kyaw Soe, Aung Thu Yein, Chit Tin) are now GBNF (Gone But Not Forgotten) at this time.
- A few years later, EC became Electronics Engineering.
- A few decades later, Electronics Engineering and Electrical Power became full-fledged departments.
Khin Maung Zaw (KMZ, EC76) wrote :
AFAIK, EC was the hardest and strictest discipline at the RIT in those days as we’ve been told. Some even asked us why we had to go there. Of course, I am not going to mention the easiest discipline there, but we joked like, “they had 109 students and 110 passed the exam”. I do not mean any disrespect to Sayas and friends from other majors!! At times, it made us wonder why were we there for god’s sake. CRAZY TIMES!!! Indeed.
I served as
- Treasurer & Vice Captain of RUBC (Rangoon University Boat Club)
- Class Representative, Joint Secretary & Secretary of RITEE (Rangoon Institute of Technology Electrical Engineering Association)
- Member of Committee for “Hlyat Sit Sar Saung”
- Editor of the Bulletin published by RIT English Association
- Member of UTC, Rowing, Scrabble, and Chess Assocations /Clubs
- Free lance writer (articles, poems, translations)
My poem “Men on the Moon” was sent to NASA by USIS, and it was published in the Guardian newspaper in July 1969
Categories: 1948 - 1968