The citadel of talent | Sunday Observer
Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya Nugegoda

The citadel of talent

12 March, 2023
Winning the diamond award for best O/L results in the Sri Jayewardenapura Zone for 2022 (2021)
Winning the diamond award for best O/L results in the Sri Jayewardenapura Zone for 2022 (2021)

The Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya of Nugegoda for over a century has bestowed professionals, sportswomen, artists and other multi-talented women across various sectors to benefit the country.

The school’s talented students have not only excelled academically but also shone through their achievements in extracurricular activities. The school dedicated to creating a generation of children according to Buddhist philosophy and values has emerged as one of the best-performing schools at the Ordinary Level Examinations in the Sri Jayewardenapura Education Zone.

The school is currently headed by its 12th principal Sureka Siriwardana. The school was first established as St John’s Mixed School on May 5, 1915 with 14 students making the Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya the oldest school in Nugegoda.

The school became a State school in 1960 and its golden years began under its former principal Ilene Siriwardena in 1978. The school was renamed Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya on January 1, 1965. Today 3,405 students are being educated by a panel of 130 teachers.


Principal Sureka Siriwardana

The school recorded some of its best results in history at the 2021 Ordinary-Level Examination of which results were issued recently. Out of the 268 students who sat for the examination 267 pupils, in other words, 98.13 percent managed to qualify to enter advanced-level classes.

Accordingly, the school was able to become one of the schools with the best results in the Sri Jayewardenapura Education Zone and the school’s principal as well as the teachers were honoured at the recently held ‘Samudra Harasara’ program for their untiring efforts in making it a reality. The school also received the ‘Diamond Award’ for the achievement on December 15, 2022.

Despite the obstacles posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the school’s O’Level candidates secured 50 A 9 passes, 28 A 8 passes, 12 A 7 passes and 13 A 6 passes through the guidance and support of the teachers and the special targeted program implemented to support them in their education during the time.

The students obtained 174 A’s for Buddhism, 129 each for Math and Sinhala, 117 for English, 113 for History and 79 for Science. The pass rate for the subjects of Maths, Geography, Tamil, Japanese and Hindi was an amazing 100 percent.

The school was also able to score significant achievements in the Grade Five Scholarship Exam of the year. Accordingly, 88.7 percent of the students in 2021 managed to obtain over 100 marks in the scholarship exam. Facing obstacles posed by Covid-19 the school launched a unique program to maintain the academic standards of its students.


While studies were carried out online, the timetables were created by the administration giving importance to every subject equally. Lessons were conducted from 7.30 am to 1.30 pm and teachers even conducted revision programs from 4 am to 7.30 am for students who missed lessons due to internet signal issues.

The Past Pupils Association provided internet connections to students to support their studies while online tests and term examinations were held under the supervision of the parents.

Papers were collected and brought to school in accordance with Covid-19 safety protocols for marking while students with low marks were supported through more revision programs to ensure they also succeed along with other students and were not left behind.

The school also implemented many programs to ensure the mental well-being of the students who were facing difficulties in having to study online away from their friends and teachers due to the pandemic. Accordingly, the school held aesthetic activities, entertainment programs and even physical fitness programs to keep their spirits up with the support of various contributors, past pupils association members and the staff.


The school implemented the theme “Let us remain happy during term examinations” so as to not exert pressure on the students after their return to school. Students who obtained low marks were tutored for one hour before school and after school to improve their performance. High achievers were also supported through special programs to facilitate their aims to reach certain academic targets.

The school held a mathematics camp to support students to revise lessons learnt online while practical activities were held for the science subject targeting the upcoming examination. Practical workshops for subjects like dance, art and drama were conducted with the dedication of teachers and former students.

The subject experts participated in the seminars and lectures aimed at the students with the contribution of the school’s Alumni Association which also sponsored the documents for students and prizes for the contributors.

They even supported students facing financial difficulties by providing them with funds for transport, uniforms and financial aid for other academic needs. The Association even built a house for one underprivileged ordinary-level student with severe financial difficulties.


The students were supported by the untiring efforts of Principal Sureka Siriwardana, Deputy Principal Dayantha Nandani, Assistant Principal K.R Ilangani, Grade 10/11 Sectional Head S.N Shiromi Perera and teachers including Laseema Rajapaksha, Pushpa Dahanayake, K. Subodhi and Gayani Attygalle.

Amid the obstacles posed by Covid-19, the students were also able to gain many other achievements during the time. The school recorded first place in the 2022 All Island Under 18 High Jump Competition.

It was also able to represent the 4th Asian Youth Tournament held in Kuwait while it also recorded a new record in the high jump competition at the 2022 Western Provincial Athletics Tournament as well as victories in many division competitions in 2019.

In addition, the Samudradevi girls were also able to bring 18 medals to Sri Lanka in the 2022 National Junior Gymnastics Championship, first place in the national tournament in traditional music, first place in the 2022 regional music competition, the 2022 Western Province Judo Championship as well as the fastest mathematics tournament in the world. Therefore, the efforts of the school’s students and teachers to bring glory to the motherland is truly commendable.

A  group of O/L exam toppers

A workshop conducted under the green-school initiative (Pix By Nissanka Wijeratne)

O/L class teachers

Principal and administration staff