Equal excellence in all three languages at GCE O/Ls | Sunday Observer
C.W.W. Kannangara Central College, Mathugama

Equal excellence in all three languages at GCE O/Ls

14 May, 2023

Mathugama C.W.W. Kannangara Central College was the first school to be declared a Central College in Sri Lanka. The school was established in 1880 to further the aim of providing free education to children and became a bilingual school in 1932.

In 1941 it was declared as the first Central College in the country. Over the past 143 years, it has educated thousands of boys and girls, enriching their lives and turning them into dutiful citizens of the motherland. Incidentally, it is named after the Father of Free Education C.W.W. Kannangara.

The school in the vicinity of the Batamulla Hill and St. George Estate is located on picturesque land spanning 24 acres. Surpassing all other schools in the area, the Mathugama C.W.W. Kannangara Central College today educates its students in English, Sinhala and Tamil languages from Grades 1 - 13.

It is one of the few schools that offer all five Advanced Level (A/L) streams. It also provides hostel facilities to its students and is the only one in the Mathugama Education Zone.

G.D. Kulathunga was its first principal. Today it is headed by the school’s 28th principal M.W.Susantha Chandana Weerasinghe. The school has won many accolades and achievements over the years.

The school has 4,195 students and 188 academic staff. The school’s students have had resounding success at all national examinations including the Ordinary and Advanced Level Examinations.


Principal M.W. Susantha Chandana Weerasinghe
(Pix by Nissanka Wijerathne)

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, 325 students from the school sat for the 2022 Ordinary Level examination, out of which 319 students qualified to enter Advanced Level classes, scoring a 98.15 percent pass rate for the school.

The students obtained 62 A 9 passes, 38 A 8 passes, 39 A 7 passes, 30 A 6 passes and 31 A 5 passes. The school obtained a 97.7 percent pass rate in 2020 and 95 percent in 2019 as a result of the dedication of its teachers and the great effort of its students.

The students amidst many challenges scored remarkable marks for many subjects this time around as well including Business and Accounting, Music, Dancing, English Literature, Agriculture, Art and Health with a 100 percent pass rate.

They also performed well in other subjects including Buddhism, Sinhala, English, Science, Mathematics, Information Communication and Technology and History.

The school, like many others in the country, was forced to use modern technology to continue their academic activities in the face of the Covid- 19 pandemic. The main challenge in the system was the need to prepare students to face national examinations while teaching them online.

The weak 4G internet signal in the Mathugama area was one of the main challenges faced by the school. However, the school was able to take steps to rectify the issue and assist its students in achieving their academic hopes and dreams.

Online classes

Classes were held from 7.30 am - 1.30 pm for 4,700 students. Online classes were set up during this time, converting the school into a “digital school”.

Examinations during the Covid-19 pandemic were also held online as did revision and other support activities for students struggling to complete their course work. Extra lessons were also provided for weak students following school hours.

The school also has a special class with the aim of providing 13 years of education for those who do not pass the Ordinary Level examination. The school also has three e-classes or smart classes.

The students are supported and guided by its Principal M.W.Susantha Chandana Weerasinghe, Deputy Principals Nipuni Ekanayake, Sakunthala Ratnayake, K.T.D Wimalasiri, M.D. Indika Prasantha Sumanaratne, Seetha Senehelatha, Assistant Principal Nimal Piyaratne and section heads including Ruwan Hettiarachchi, Shashika Samaranayake along with other academic staff.

The school is also immensely supported by its past pupils. They have held volunteer seminars for students sitting for Ordinary-Level examinations and other training programs. These are often conducted by university students who were past pupils of the school. The Past Pupils’ Association (PPA) has also extended their help to many students facing various obstacles during the pandemic and mobile phones were donated to pupils who were without devices to follow lessons.

The school has also made great achievements in the field of sports and other extracurricular activities winning many all-island awards. The students have displayed their sporting prowess in athletics, chess, wushu and karate while others have excelled in art, music and cadeting.

Extracurricular activities

The school offers 89 extracurricular activities to its students. Among the students who have scored wins in athletics, swimming, cadeting and school band activities are those who sat for the GCE Ordinary Level examination as well.

Today the school continues its laudable service for students of the area. It has become the most popular school in the region, attracting students from areas even beyond Kalutara.