National Schools

   Following the 1920 student boycott that opposed the act establishing Rangoon (Yangon) University, "national schools" offering a curriculum emphasizing Burmese (Myanmar) language and culture and Buddhism were established throughout the country. A Council of National Education was set up in 1921, which set standards and examinations for the schools. Between 1921 and 1923, the number of such schools increased rapidly, although a controversy ensued between those schools that were willing to accept government aid (subjecting them to a measure of government regulation) and those that rejected it. Many of the schools went bankrupt, but those national schools that survived graduated many of the leaders of the independence struggle during the 1930s and 1940s, including Aung San, who attended a national high school in Yenangyaung (Yaynangyoung) in what is now Magwe (Magway) Division. A "national college," conceived as a patriotic alternative to Rangoon University with its British curriculum, was established in August 1921 at a Buddhist monastery in Bahan Township, Rangoon (Yangon). Its faculty included the famous writer Thakin Kodaw Hmaing. But it suffered from lack of funding, government displeasure, and factional splits within the main Burmese political organization, the General Council of Burmese Associations, and closed in 1923.
   See also Education; Education, Higher.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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