The centennial of the Yangon University

Convocation Hall at the University of Yangon
Convocation Hall at the University of Yangon.
Convocation Hall at the University of Yangon.

In the Myanmar’s educational history for learning of higher education, the Yangon University was first established under the British Occupation. After the end of second British-Myanmar war in 1852, and the annexation of Lower Myanmar, Kolkata-affiliated Rangoon College was opened In Yangon in 1878. Government College and in 1906 and University College before 1920 were successfully upgraded. After the promulgation of the Yangon University Act in 1920, the University College and the Judson College were put under the supervision of the Yangon University which emerged as an independent University on 1 December, 1920. Soon after the opening, the University students rejected the Act and they boycotted themselves, thus paying the way of establishing the National Schools.
The establishment of National College did not exist for a long time due to some reasons. National Schools cross the country have survived to produce national patriotic leaders until 1965, the year all schools in the country were nationalized by the Revolutionary Government.

Towards the duration of the centennial year
Myoma Students begin to reach towards the centenary year of the Yangon University and the Myanma Movies by 2020. Preliminary activities led by the Myanma Film Association have already started. So are the
preliminary centennial activities by Myoma High School together with Women S.H.S No.2, Dagon and S.H.S No. 3 have been carried out since 2017. On November 18, 2018, Yangon Myoma High School and S.H.S No 2, Dagon was attached to the Blue Plaque by the Yangon Heritage Trust on 18 November, 2018. On 2 December, 2018 periodicals such as magazines, calendars and memorials were published to be distributed.

Outstanding figures
Many activities were carried out for the centennial of the Yangon University such as publishing books of preliminary writings by outsiders and former students published books of remembrance.
Supervised by the Psychology Association led by former Education Minister held preliminary musical events. Again the Yangon Culture Association held a preliminary event called “ Melancholy memories of a University student” in Yangon National Theater on 30 September, 2012; these events were performed from 7-12pm to mark the preliminary occasion for the centennial of the University.
Affiliated to the Yangon University were the Medical College, Engineering College, Agricultural College and the Teachers’ Training College. In 1925 Mandalay College established to open under the supervision of The Yangon University. Yangon Student Union was systematically formed in accordance with its rules and regulations on 9 January, 1931. The building for the Student Union was built and donated by a wealthy man by the name of U Nyo. The Student Union produced a lot of political and patriotic leaders such as Bogyoke Aung San, Thakin Nu, U Ba Swe , U Kyaw Nyein, U Thein Pe Myint and so on.

Memorial student festivals
The Yangon University stood firmly against the World War Two and did not have a chance of celebrating a Silver Anniversary in 1945. When reopened in 1947, 40th Anniversary of the University Student Festival was held. 50th Golden Anniversary celebrations were held from 1-5, December inside the campus. During the celebrations, reading research papers, science exhibitions, records of photographs , paintings,
architectural exhibitions and varieties of dances by freshmen and old students and competitions for singing and musical instruments played by freshmen and old students alike and external non-dramatic performances were ceremoniously held. In addition, for the sake of souvenirs such as postcards and calendars were published for sales.
Varieties of dances in Stage-1 on the lawn of the Institute of Medicine, in Stage-2 on the vacant plot between the Mandalay Hall and Amara Hall and the Stage-3 on the lawn of Arts were also performed.
Singing and drumming contests ( Mandolin, violin, harp and xylophone), College Myaing Anyein on the campus of Institute of Education and Shwehnize Anyein in front of the Post Office were also entertained.
Students’ Associations opened rows of stalls and Funfairs on the Chancellor Road and outside rows of stalls were allowed to open on the space between the Archway and University Avenue and on the campus of Institute of Education. The design of the Golden Archway was drawn by the YIT students; it was made of two materials: cane and bamboo.

Starting to observe according to the accepted rules
An Archway was on the University Avenue near the Kamayut Circle and other one was on the University Avenue near the Inya Traffic point and the Third one was at the entrance of Chancellor Road. During the Golden Jubilee, a lot of people came amid heavy rain on the first and second day of December and the event was densely crowded on 3, 4 and 5th of December; but unfortunately the event came to an abrupt halt.
At 6 am on 6 December, right-hand driving started to implement throughout the country.

Ceremoniously celebrated
A Diamond Anniversary was ceremoniously celebrated from the first to seventh of December, 1995; monthly celebrations were held without fail from June to December, 1995. Day students as well as hostel students and freshmen , pre-war and post-war old students gathered to have a great dinner. Planting trees of plenty of money and planting trees in remembrance were held joyously to mirror images of one’s young days.
In addition, subject-wise research paper readings and international research paper readings were also held. Respect-paying ceremonies to the old students were also held. University records of batches, convocation robes, graduate certificates and photographs were also displayed, showing era-wise clothes and ornaments.
Mr. University and Miss Beauty contests and sport competitions were held as well as for songs, novels, poems and articles. Funfairs such as variety concerts, week-long film festivals and stalls were displayed. There were as many as 80 shops around the building of the Diamond Anniversary from Associations of Universities and Colleges.
Week-long film festivals included the film” Abound with flowers” shown at the Nawaday’s Cinema Hall and the film” The collegian” broadcast from Myanma Television. A variety dance was performed on the vacant plot in front of the Post Office at 6-10pm from 1-4 December with an active participation of students from the Regional Universities andColleges and those from the Yangon Region.

Celebrating the centenary of the Yangon University
During the Golden Anniversary, three big books and pamphlets were published for distributions. When it was finished, books in remembrance were not able to be published. During the Diamond Anniversary of the Yangon University, several magazines and periodicals were published by day students as well as hostel students; with the publication of Journal -2 in September, 1996 which contained a lot of collective records of great event. For the celebrations of the centenary of the Yangon University, international and Myanmar students young and old alike are greatly urged to take an active participation for the successful celebration of the centenary of the University which was regarded the mother of all universities and colleges across the country.

Translated by Arakan Sein

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