Basic Education High School No. 6 Botataung

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Botataung 6 High School
အ.ထ.က. (၆) ဗိုလ်တထောင်
6BTT.JPG
Main Hall of Botataung 6 High School
Address
Anawrahta Road, Botataung
Yangon, Yangon Region, Myanmar
Information
Type Public
Established 1860
School number 6
Principal Dr. Kyaw Soe Naing
Grades K-10
Number of students ~5,000
Designations

Basic Education High School (BEHS) No. 6 Botataung (Burmese: အခြေခံ ပညာ အထက်တန်း ကျောင်း အမှတ် (၆) ဗိုလ်တထောင်; abbreviated to အ.ထ.က. (၆) ဗိုလ်တထောင်; commonly known as Botataung 6 High School or St. Paul's High School), located a few miles east of downtown Yangon in Botataung township, is a public high school, and one of the oldest high schools in Myanmar. The all-boys school offers classes from kindergarten to Tenth Standard (or Grade 1 through Grade 11 in the new nomenclature).

Known during the British colonial days as St. Paul's English High School, the Roman Catholic parochial school was the top school of choice for the children of the elite. Many of the country's who's who in those days were alumni of St. Paul's. The school was nationalized in 1965. While it is no longer the leading high school it once was, the school continues to be among the better (certainly among the better known) high schools in Yangon, serving mostly the children of middle-class families from downtown Yangon and vicinity.

The school's main three-story red brick colonial era building is a landmark protected by the city.[1]

History[edit]

St. Paul's High School in the early 1900s

The school was founded as St. Paul's English High School by the De La Salle Brothers, a Roman Catholic order in August 1860,[2] eight years after the British had seized Yangon and all of Lower Myanmar. It was the second LaSallian high school in the country. (St. Patrick's High School was founded in Mawlamyaing in April 1860.) The all-boys school was among the few early schools that educated the children of the country's British officers, the Anglo-Burmese, the Anglo-Indians and the wealthy Burmese. Naturally, many of the notable colonial era names were St. Paul's alumni. The language of instruction was mainly English in the early days, and bi-lingual for some classes in the later days. Latin, science and higher mathematics were taught in the senior classes. Special interest classes such as Painting, and Carpentry and Woodcarving were also offered. The highlights of the school year were the annual sports and school concerts.[3]

In April 1965, when Gen. Ne Win's military government nationalized private schools, the school was renamed to "Basic Education High School (BEHS) No. 6 Botataung". The primary language of instruction became Burmese. The school, which used to have a "Roll of Honor" for its outstanding students, steadily lost significance partly due to the new requirement to attend nearby schools as much as possible. Nevertheless, the school is still considered among the top high schools in Myanmar. Many well-to-do and wealthy families prefer to send their children to TTC and Dagon 1 High School. The elite do not hesitate to send their kids to English language private schools that cost US$8000 or more annually.[4] Today, Botataung 6 attracts mostly the children of middle-class families from downtown Yangon.

The school has produced two top-ranked students, who finished first in the country's highly competitive college matriculation exams, one in 1974 and another in 1984.

Campus[edit]

The East Wing as seen from Theinbyu Road

Botataung 6 is one of the few high schools in Myanmar with a sizable campus, covering perhaps 75% of the entire city square block. The compound of St. Mary's Cathedral, north of the school, takes up the other 25% of the block. The school is bounded by Theinbyu Road to the east, Anawrahta Road to the south and Aung Kyaw Road to the west. The former Secretariat Compound, where Gen. Aung San was assassinated, is located across Anawrahta Road. The all-girls Botataung 4 High School (formerly, St. Mary's Convent School) and co-ed Botataung 5 High School are located in the vicinity of the school.

The gated campus consists of some of the best facilities available in Myanmar:

  • Landmark U-shaped three-story main building[1]—East and West wings house ten classrooms each, labeled A through J; also a Physics laboratory and a Chemistry laboratory
  • Aung Kyaw Hall, two-story annex building; houses school's main auditorium and school library
  • Aung San Hall, two-story annex building
  • Regulation size football pitch
  • Smaller practice football pitch; also used as an outdoor volleyball court
  • One indoor basketball/volleyball court
  • Two tennis courts; also double as basketball courts
  • Cafeteria

Programs[edit]

The school offers classes from K through 10 in two daily shifts. (The Burmese education system is based on the colonial 11-year secondary school curriculum although most other countries are on a 13-year curriculum.) The early shift handles K through 4 and the second shift does 5 through 10. Due to the use of two shifts and the availability of a large number of classrooms, the class size at Botataung 6 is around 40 to 50, much lower than 70-80 students in a typical Burmese classroom.

The school which produced notable scholars in the past has succumbed to the provant teaching style based mainly on memorization and rote learning. Due to severe lack of funding, the school's library and labs are rarely used. Teachers teach for and students study for the exams. Most students attend specialized private classes (locally called tuition classes) on specific subject matters. In a world where teachers must supplement their abysmally low salaries, many of the private classes are given by the teachers (ignoring the conflict of interest) with the primary focus on exam-specific topics. The incestuous practice is typically an academic death knell for those not able to afford these special classes.

Cost[edit]

Although the schools are nominally free in Myanmar, in reality, parents still have to pay for school maintenance, donations and registration fees as well as books and uniforms.[5] The overall costs quickly become considerable, even for middle class parents when the cost for evening tuition classes are factored in.

Alumni[edit]

Politics and government[edit]

Name Notability Reference
Ba Cho Minister of Information (1946–1947), one of the senior government officials assassinated on 19 July 1947
Publisher of Deedok newspaper
[6]
Ba Khin First Accountant General of Union of Burma
Leading Theravada Buddhist philosopher and propagator of Vipassanā meditation in the Ledi tradition
[7]
Dr. Ba Maw Prime Minister of Burma during the British and Japanese colonial rule (1937–1940; 1942–1945) [8]
Ba Pe One of the four Burmese signatories to the Aung San–Attlee Agreement
Founder of Thuriya (The Sun) newspaper
[9]
Sir Maung Khin First Burmese Chief Justice of the High Court (1921–1924) during the British rule
First Burmese to be knighted
Kyaw Myint Justice of High Court of Union of Burma [10]
Myint Thein Third Chief Justice of High Court of Union of Burma (1957–1962) [10]
Bo Sekkya Member of the Thirty Comrades [11]
Tin Tut First Burmese ICS officer
One of the four Burmese signatories to the Aung San–Attlee Agreement
Finance Minister, (1946–1947)
First Foreign Minister of Union of Burma (1948)
[12]
Zayar Thaw Former political prisoner; MP, Pyithu Hluttaw (2012–present) [13]

Academia and medicine[edit]

Name Notability Reference
Dr. Ba Han Preeminent lexicographer and author
Author of the University English–Burmese Dictionary
[8]
Dr. Norman Hla First surgeon to perform a liver transplant in Myanmar [14]
Dr. Htin Aung Scholar of Burmese culture and history
Rector, University of Yangon (1946–1958)
Burmese Ambassador to Sri Lanka (1959–1962)
[15]
Min Latt Linguist of Burmese language, and writer [16]
Nay Ok Well known private tutor of High School English in Yangon
Dr. Than Nyun Rector, Yangon Institute of Economics (1993)
Deputy Minister of Education (1994–1999)
Member, ASEAN Eminent Persons Group
[17]

Literature and arts[edit]

Name Notability Reference
Richard Bartholomew Burmese born Indian photographer, art critic, writer [18]
Dr. Htin Aung Scholar of Burmese culture and history
Rector, University of Yangon (1946–1958)
Burmese Ambassador to Sri Lanka (1959–1962)
[15]
Maung Maung Gyi Famous pre-war watercolorist
First Burmese to travel abroad for studies in Western painting
[19]
Colin McPhedran Author of White Butterflies, a memoir of the author's escape from Burma in the face of the Japanese occupation in 1942.
Min Lu Writer, screenwriter, poet [20]
Min Theinkha Bestselling author of Sarpalin (Surveillant) Hnin Maung detective series [21]

Music and cinema[edit]

Name Notability Reference
Bo Bo Han Popular singer in the 1970s [22]
Bo Lay Singer [22]
Khaing Htoo Popular singer in the 1980s [22]
Ki Ki Hip-hop singer [22]
King Kong Comedian [22]
G Latt Singer [22]
Zinyaw Maung Maung Two-time Myanmar Academy Award winning director [23]
Maung Myo Min (Yin-dwin-phyit) Myanmar Academy Award winning director [22]
Nine One Hip-hop singer [22]
Bunny Phyo Hip-hop singer [22]
D Phyo Hip-hop singer [22]
San Htut Actor [22]
Soe Paing Popular singer in the 1970s [22]
Tha Htwe Hip-hop singer [22]
Than Naing Popular singer in the 1970s; of band Playboy [22]
Tin Aung Moe Singer [22]
Thu Maung Myanmar Academy Award winning actor, singer and writer [24]
Maung Wunna Two-time Myanmar Academy Award winning director [25]
Yan Yan Chan Hip-hop singer; of band ACID [22]
Ye Lay Popular Burmese hip hop artist [22]
Zaw Gyi Hip-hop singer [22]
Zaw Min Lay Singer [22]
Zayar Thaw Hip-hop singer with band ACID; MP, Pyithu Hluttaw (2012–present) [13]

List of headmasters[edit]

The following is a list of headmasters since nationalization in 1965.[26]

  • Thant Gyi (1965)
  • Captain Ba Hein (1965–69)
  • Myat Htun (1969–79)
  • Tun Aung (1980–81)
  • Thein Kyi (1981)
  • Tin Tun (1981–83)
  • Min Maung (1983–90)
  • Kyaw Myint (1990–95)
  • Win Naing (1995–96)
  • Kyi Than (1996–2003)
  • Khin Maung Soe (2003–05)
  • Maung Lone (2005–07)
  • Dr. Win Min Latt (2007–10)
  • Dr. Kyaw Soe Naing (2010–Present)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Special Reports: Heritage List. The Myanmar Times. 2001-10-29. 
  2. ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India: Provincial Series. volume 10. Supt. of Govt. 1908. 
  3. ^ Wai Wai Myaing (2005). A Journey in Time: Family Memoirs (Burma, 1914-1948). Lincoln, NE: iUniverse. pp. 96–97. ISBN 978-0-595-35651-5. 
  4. ^ Sandra Davie (2008-10-13). "'I see no future for my two sons in Myanmar.'". The Straits Times. 
  5. ^ Yee May Aung (2008-09-10). "Educationalists concerned by Burmese literacy rate". DVB. 
  6. ^ Tin Naing Toe (18 July 2010). "Brief Biographies of the Martyrs". Bi-Weekly Eleven (in Burmese) (Weekly Eleven Publishing Group). 
  7. ^ Donald M. Seekins (2006). Historical dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Rowman & Littlefield. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-8108-5476-5. 
  8. ^ a b E.M. Lawyone (1981). "Dr. Ba Maw of Burma". In John P. Ferguson. Contributions to Asian Studies: Essays on Burma XVI. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill Archive. ISBN 978-90-04-06323-5. 
  9. ^ Robert H. Taylor (2009). The State in Myanmar. NUS Press. p. 173. ISBN 978-9971-69-466-1. 
  10. ^ a b Thet Tun (August 2008). Atway-Amyin Journal (in Burmese). 
  11. ^ Wunna Kyawhtin Dr. Myint Swe (1966). Japanese Era Public Hospital: A Memoir (in Burmese) (2010 ed.). p. 392. 
  12. ^ "U Tin Tut". Myanma Encyclopedia (in Burmese) 5 (Government of Myanmar). 
  13. ^ a b "Zayar Thaw on Google+". Google. Retrieved 2013-05-26. 
  14. ^ Thinking Aloud. "Professor Dr Norman Hla, the head of the surgery department at New Yangon General Hospital". The Myanmar Times. 2004-10-04. 
  15. ^ a b International Who's Who: 1964 (28 ed.). 1964. p. 43. 
  16. ^ Aung Zaw (September 2010). "Tell the World the Truth". The Irrawaddy 18 (9). 
  17. ^ "BIOGRAPHIES OF THE EMINENT PERSONS GROUP ON THE ASEAN CHARTER". ASEAN General Secretariat. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 
  18. ^ "Richard Bartholomew Bio". Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  19. ^ G. Hla Maung (1968). On International and Burmese Painting (in Burmese). Sitthidaw Sarpay. 
  20. ^ "စာရေးဆရာ မင်းလူ ကွယ်လွန်" [(Writer Min Lu Dies)] (in Burmese). BBC. 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  21. ^ "Min Theinkha passes away". Mizzima News. 2008-08-01. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "St. Paul's Alumni Association Concert and Variety Show to be Held at Tower Island, Kandawgyi Lake". The Healthcare Journal (in Burmese) 2 (48): 13. 2011-12-09. 
  23. ^ Thida Win (2010-06-18). "Zinyaw Maung Maung's Younger Years". Bi-Weekly Eleven (in Burmese) 3 (12): 36. 
  24. ^ "Academy Thu Maung Passes Away". Bi-Weekly Eleven (in Burmese) (Weekly Eleven Media Group). 2010-05-04. 
  25. ^ "Writer, Director Maung Wunna Passes Away in Yangon". Bi-Weekly Eleven (in Burmese) (Weekly Eleven Media Group). 2011-01-11. 
  26. ^ "List of Headmasters". Botataung 6 Alumni Site. Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-01-10. 

Coordinates: 16°46′38″N 96°09′57″E / 16.77722°N 96.16583°E / 16.77722; 96.16583