A guiding light for O/L success | Sunday Observer
Thurstan College, Colombo

A guiding light for O/L success

26 March, 2023
 (G.C.E.) O.L. examination toppers
(G.C.E.) O.L. examination toppers

Colombo Thurstan College opened its doors to students on January 11, 1950 to provide education to 138 students who were unable to enter Royal College right next door. Today the school educates 3,750 students with the aim of bestowing responsible citizens beneficial to the country and its future. The first principal of the prestigious boys’ school with ‘Lead me from Darkness to Light’ as its motto was D.E.A. Shockman.

In its 73 glorious years, the school has had many victories in academics, sports and other areas through its talented students of all grades. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, the school endeavoured to provide its students with a balanced education which in turn facilitates the school’s pupils from achieving remarkable results at the Ordinary Level Examination in 2021.

Accordingly, the school was placed 33rd in the country for best results at the examination while it was also placed 13th in the Western province and 6th in the Colombo district and education zone which was an even more improved performance from its brilliant results achieved in 2020.

Flying colours

Principal Pramuditha Wickremesinghe

At the exam, 319 students out of 320 who sat for it passed with flying colours with a pass rate of an impressive 99.69 percent. In 2020 it was 98.13 percent while in 2019 it was 98.13 percent.

As a result of Thurstan College’s current principal Pramuditha Wickramasinghe and the academic staff’s dedication and effort, the students were able to secure 75 A 9, 49 A 8 and 37 A 7 results.

With schools being forced to hold online classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Thurstan College implemented a significant academic plan under the guidance of its principal at the time to ensure the students’ education continues unhindered.

It became one of the first schools to introduce online classes for students through the Idea Hub Program. The concept was introduced to the school by the past pupil and former Director General of Customs Vijitha Ravipriya who supported the school in conducting its online classes, tests and other subject-related activities as well as student well-being activities through it.

Classes were conducted according to a set schedule between 7.30 am - 1.30 pm, and the school even compiled mock examination papers sets for its students at a great cost entirely borne by the school.

The sets were delivered to students and returned to the school for marking amid the ongoing pandemic with the aim of preparing the students for the milestone examination. The school also implemented other programs to help students relieve the psychological pressure of being confined to their homes during that time.

Additional counselling, physical exercises and other entertainment programs for students were also held online. These also included awareness programs for parents conducted by experts in various fields with also the support of the school’s old boys union.

Special programs to improve the performance of students who scored low marks were also held while two special classes were introduced to improve results for the mathematics subject.

The Wings 2022 program was initiated by the school to support students not performing well in their academic studies. This program was conducted four months prior to the examination to improve the student’s knowledge and to ensure their mental well-being.

Students from well-to-do families supported underprivileged students during the time. The school also set targets for its students allowing them to mark their progress on their own reports so that they are aware of their current state academically.


The scores obtained in the three terms were included in a sub-analysis file where everyone can get an understanding of the scores they have obtained. Meanwhile, the school was able to organise a 4-day math’s camp to improve math’s scores to better prepare the students for the examination. Thurstan College has also implemented various programs to be successful at the Ordinary Level Examination such as the Golden Wall concept with the aim of encouraging the students.

The wall displays the names and photographs of high achievers at the Ordinary Level throughout the year. A commemorative plaque was also presented to the 10 students with the best results while other top scorers received gold medals from the school.

The entire program was a result of the untiring efforts of Principal Pramuditha Wickramasinghe, Senior Deputy Principals W.D.T. Chandrasiri and S.V.R Senarath Bandara, N.G Himali Samanthini, N.R Kadupitiya, Assistant Principal W.D.M.S.P Maaharana and other academic staff.

The school also organised ‘Sanjanana 2023’, an art competition which brought together students of 396 schools amidst all the difficulties.

The school research committee was also set up during the time led by Upeksha Abeysekara, a teacher at the school. Student Nadeeja Prathibhana of the school discovered a cure for diabetes from the Ranawara plant.

The school has 18 sports and 48 clubs and associations. Thurstanites Praveen Salamuthu Jayathilaka, won the Asia Youth Athletics 400m silver medal while Dulwan Jayaratne won the 2022 South Asian Karate Kumte silver medal.

They also obtained 9 A passes in the exam displaying the vast talents and capabilities of students of Thurstan College, Colombo.

O/L teaching staff

Principal and senior administration staff

School administration staff

  Science society students

Pix By  Nissanka Wijeratne