Nittambuwa Sanghabodhi: Teachers’ commitment leads to excellent O/L results | Sunday Observer

Nittambuwa Sanghabodhi: Teachers’ commitment leads to excellent O/L results

7 May, 2023

Sanghabodhi Vidyalaya, Nittambuwa celebrates its 81st anniversary this year along with its many successes achieved over the years amid struggles and obstacles.

It opened its doors to seven students on November 1, 1942 under the auspices of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike who was the Minister of Local Government and Health at the time. Incidentally, November 1 happens to be the founding day of many well-known schools in the country including Ananda College, Colombo. Sanghabodhi Vidyalaya commenced as an English-medium Buddhist school and had two teachers on its academic staff.

The school was first temporarily set up on land belonging to S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in Thihariya before later moving to another location near the Nittambuwa junction. It was again moved to a location known as “Coffee Square” near the Horagolla memorial, where it still stands. Later the school was donated four acres of land by former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike who also took steps to erect a two-story building on it.

The education institution was finally recognised as a formal school on January 11, 1967 after a Bill was presented by Sirimavo Bandaranaike to take over all private schools by the Government. This school was the first to be taken over by the Government on November 1, 1960.

Central College

In 1967 when the school celebrated its Silver Jubilee it was a Maha Vidyalaya while in 1992 as it celebrated its Golden Jubilee it had become a Central College educating close to 3,000 students. It began Arts and Commerce stream classes in 1960, the Science stream in 1973 and the Agriculture stream in 1989.

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and many challenges posed by it, the school and its students were faced these obstacles to achieve remarkable results at the GCE Ordinary Level (O/L) Examination recently.

The school came out 56th of the best-achieving schools while it was placed 23rd in the Western Province and seventh in the Gampaha district. Of 357 students who sat the examination, 356 qualified to enter the Advanced Level classes scoring a pass rate of 99.71 percent.

Twenty-seven students obtained 9 A passes, 31 obtained 8 As, 34 - 7As and 55 - 6A passes. A 100 percent pass rate was achieved in subjects such as Christianity RC Studies, Sinhala, Science, Mathematics, Music, Dancing, Geography, Citizenship Education, Information Technology, Agriculture, Home Science and Health. The pass rate for Buddhism was 99.17 percent, English and History 99.72 percent, Science 99.7 percent and Accountancy 98.5 percent.

The principal N.A Lakshman Wijeratne has over three decades of experience as an educator. He has introduced many concepts to the school to improve the student’s performance including the Student’s Log Book. Students are expected to self-mark these log books which are later checked by their class teachers. These log books supported the students immensely during the Covid period and kept the students up to date on their progress in various subjects.

Special programs were also introduced under the guidance of the principal during Covid. These were set up by Assistant Principal Olini Ratnayake. The sessions were held online and Google Forms were used to identify students who missed lessons and provide them with support to catch up. A program was also launched to identify students who did not have the facilities such 4G routers and devices to follow lessons online and provide them with assistance. The teachers also compiled model question papers for the students and also separate assessment reports for each subject.

Dedicated teachers

The school since 2016 has recorded pass rates of over 95 percent at all times due to the dedication of the Principal and the teachers, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The teachers took a massive risk as they continued to work throughout the pandemic. In fact, the school conducted 151 special programs during the time under the supervision of Zonal Education authorities. All students were given educational aid through funds granted by the Ministry of Education.

The school has eight Ordinary Level classes and one out of the eight is taught in the English medium. Two classes are e-classes. The school even took steps to encourage students who were missing classes to return to school to achieve good results at the examination. Teachers went to the homes of such students, talked to their parents and got the students to come back to school.

The school has also achieved much in sports and other extracurricular activities including the school cadet band and scouting. Its students obtained wins in Karate last year while they also shone in dancing, chess, athletics, agriculture, science, music and languages.

The students were tasked with the aim of achieving 90 marks in every subject and were supported in this endeavour by Principal Wijeratne, Deputy Principals Shamali Ranapura Arachchige and K.S.U Pathirana, Assistant Principal Olini Ratnayake and heads of each grade including Grade 10/11 heads Susil Kumara, Duleetha Herath and B.S. Abeywickrama. The students have achieved this target, even exceeding the expectations of teachers.

Sanghabodhi Vidyalaya is poised to be one of the leading schools in the country with a long-term vision centred on educational excellence. This school has earned a great reputation among parents in the area that most parents no longer wish to send their children to schools in Colombo.