Three French Brothers arrived in Myanmar (then Burma) in 1860 through the invitation Bishop Paul Ambrose Bigandet of Rangoon (present-day Yangon). Within three days of their arrival, they had a school functioning beside the Cathedral – St. Paul’s.
A brief History of Lasallian Education in Myanmar
It was on the 4th April 1860, that the first group of Brothers arrived in Maw La Myaing (Moulmein) from Kolkata (Calcutta) and took over what is known today as St. Patrick’s High School.
On the 12th September that same year another group of Brothers came over to Yangon (Rangoon) from India at the invitation of Bishop Paul Bigandet and thus began St. Paul’s High School.
In 1897 the Brothers were handed over a two storeyed brick building and began St. Peter’s at Mandalay.
When Brother John took over the Directorship of St. Paul’s in 1915, he planned to give the poor children a theoretical and practical training on an industrial basis. The scheme included a rubber plantation of some 1,800 acres. The De La Salle Orphanage, Twante started with 38 boys in 1921 on February 1st.
During WWII Japanese occupation, the Brothers from St. Peter’s were quartered at another town name Mo Gok and St. Peter’s was requisitioned as hospital. Therefore Brothers went to their country house at Pyin Oo Lwin (May Myo). Upon the town’s people request Brothers opened St. Albert’s on July 2nd., 1945.
The Bishop of Toungoo handed over to the Brothers some 10 acres of land at Loikaw, the Capital of Kayah State, standing on a flat expanse of land 3,000 feet above the sea level. In May 1958, St. Joseph’s was opened with an attendance of about 180.
On May 27th, 1959, St. Columban’s High School came under the Brothers’ management on a land of some 8 acres with all existing buildings from the Fathers of Maynooth Missionaries.
The youngest of the Lasallian Schools in Myanmar is St. Anthony’s High School – young, not in age, but in adoption. For St. Anthony’s has been in existence for not less than ninety years, and it came under the De La Salle Brothers in April 1960.
Indeed for quite a number of years, a large percentage of Juniors, Novices and Scholastics from Myanmar were sent to Penang or studied in Penang. After the War, the Juniorate in May Myo was established.
In 1962, a New Government came into power and in 1965, all schools were nationalized consequently the Brothers’ education was ceased. Brothers are still maintaining a Provincialate in Yangon. All Brothers’ schools turned into government curriculum and renamed as Basic Education High School No. … of ( name of township ) except St. Albert’s High School was transformed into a vocational technical high school and lately was transformed again to an office of technical research.
The Brothers never give up and now succeed to open a small training center of learning English and Computer basic skills for poor in Yangon.
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