Origin and Growth

Origin

St. Aloysius Gonzaga English Language Institute, or SAG as it is popularly known, began its career at “Dhamayone”, a parish building next to the Cathedral, when Archbishop Mathias U Shwe, invited Frs. Clay Pereira S.J. (IDO) and Fr. Leo Cachat S.J, of the Detroit Province, to teach in St. Theresa Minor Seminary and to take over the running of the English Language Institute established for the Catholic Youth of Taunggyi.

Some Highlights of our Growth:

September 1997

Fr. Leo Cachat S.J started classes with four teachers named Angela Jasper, Connie Anthony, and Pamela McIntyre, and 150 students.

1999

Clay bought a cottage and land from Teacher Pamela McIntyre. The old bungalow and property were in the Forest Quarter. The property was purchased in the name of Fr. Pio Kocheta, a local diocesan priest. Having bought the property, Clay built a two-story block behind the cottage.

June 2001

Jesuit candidates moved to this building and at the same time attended the classes in Damayone until April 2003, when they moved to Yangon. Fr. Randopoh Lumabao (PHI) took over as Director of the English Language Institute (ELI). He was succeeded by Fr. Larry Tan S.J. (MAS), who was Director for six months until he was made the Superior of the Malaysia-Singapore Region.

2003 – 2006

English Language Institute moved from Damayone to its present site in the Forest Quarter in 2003. Fr. Augustinus Purwantoro, (IDO) followed Larry and took over as Director until he was transferred to Yangon as the Candidate Director in Oct 2006. Augustinus initiated the building of the classroom block beside the cottage.

October 2006

When Augustinus was transferred to Yangon, Irene was asked to take over as Director of SAG. With some modifications, Irene continued the regular English Teaching Program initiated by Leo in 1997 and started the “Weekend Kids Program” at the request of parents. Over the years,it has become an integral part of the SAG program and has flourished. From the original eight students in 2006, the number of children now attending the weekend program has risen to around 300 and over 400 for the summer program.

June 2010

Fr. Paul Dass S.J. (MAS) took over as Director from Ms. Irene Ho. Paul introduced what became known as the ‘Integrated Program’ for UDE students. This was a three-year Liberal Arts program offered to university students who, in the months between their UDE exams, did not have the benefit of full-time university education.

2016

The classroom block has foundations for four stories enabling Fr. Paul Dass (MAS) to add a third story to this block as well as extending the teacher’s staff room and adding a second floor to it.

2019

The month of March marked a transition in the leadership of the institute with the appointment of a new director, Fr. Vinny Joseph [MDU].

2020

All was going well in SAG with more than 700 students on the campus. But on March 19, 2020, SAG was asked to close its campus by the government education department due to the pandemic Covid 19. Somehow, we could complete the 2019-2020 academic year, but could not go ahead with the graduation ceremony as planned.

2021

We started the 2020-21 academic year online and the classes were going quite well until the 2nd February 2021 when the military took over the government. But we continue the online classes with limited numbers of students.

May 2021

As the management felt the need for more classroom building and an auditorium for functions, a new building was initiated with the groundbreaking ceremony with the blessings of Archbishop Basilio Athai on 25th May 2021 and the work is progressing quite well.