D. S. Senanayake National School Mirigama celebrates 65th anniversary
D. S. Senanayaka National School, Mirigama celebrated its 65th anniversary. The school, which was established under the initiation of Ven. Wewaldeniye Medhalankara Mahanayaka Thera and the former Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake, has become a recognized school in the country today.
The history of the school dates back to the time when Sri Lanka gained independence. In 1946 the country was separated into new electorates. As a result a new electorate division was named as Mirigama, which was created by combining Udugahapaththuwa and Aluthkuru Korale. Since there was no school that provided education for senior grade students, many elites used to send their children to schools in Negombo, Kurunegala, Kandy or Colombo.
This issue drew the attention of both the Buddhist leaders and the Buddhist associations. They then took steps to establish a new school with the aim of providing education to all the students in the region. Ven. Wewaldeniye Medhalankara Thera, who was a young and renowned Buddhist monk in the area, volunteered to initiate the task. He was also close friend of the Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake. The premier couldn’t avoid the request made by them due to two reasons. One was that Mirigama was his birth place. The other reason was that the request was made by a well recognized Buddhist monk, who he too highly respected. As a result the new school was first established as a bilingual boys’ college in Mirigama.
26-acre land donated
A few years later a well-wisher in the area, by the name of Mudliyar Dahanayake, donated 26 acres of his coconut estate in Walawwaththa area to build the school premises. The initiative for the same was also done by Medhalankara Thera. The foundation stone for the school’s main building was laid by the Prime Minister D. S. Senanayake on 18th February 1951. Unfortunately the death of the prime minister in 1952 affected the construction of the school. The efforts of the Thera and the organizers helped complete the planned task. As a result of these efforts Mirigama College was opened by the end of 1952. The school had 600 students and an academic staff of 25 teachers.
The college, which only had a main hall, was further developed and promoted to ‘Maha Vidyalaya’ status in 1959. The school was then named ‘D. S. Senanayake College’ with the view of paying tribute to the great man for his commitments in establishing the school. In 1988 the school became a ‘Cluster School’ supporting 14 small schools in the area. With the introduction of National schools, the school was promoted as a national school in 1999.
The present principal of the school is J. A. S. Karunathilake. The 16 principals who developed the school from its beginning are:
Mr. K. P. Pangngarathne (1947 – 1952)
Mr. F. D. Wijesinghe (1953 – 1955)
Mr. Hemachandra Welikanne (1955 – 1960)
Mr. Hyubert Karunaratne (1961 – 1963)
Mr. D.A. Jayathilake (1964 – 1969)
Mr. P. P. D. T. Aquinas (1970 – 1972)
Mr. D.A. Perera (1972 – 1974)
Mr. G.D. Francis (1974 – 1975)
Mr. R.A.K. Rajapakshe (1975 – 1976)
Mr. C. C. Manamperi (1976)
Mr. G. S. Leelananda (1977)
Mr. W. R. Karunarathne
(1977 – 1988)
Mr. T. K. Ariyawansha (1989 – 1992)
Mr. D. G. L. Thilakawarshane (1992 – 2007)
Rev. Makkanigoda Assaji Thero (2008 – 2014)
Mr. J.A.S. Karunathilake (Since 2014)
The school at present comprises four deputy principals, 120 academic staff, 50 non academic staff and 2000 students. The rapid academic growth of the school has created a great demand for new admissions. The school records the best results among the schools in Minuwangoda zone. Annually, a huge number of students who pass the grade five scholarship examination receive the opportunity to enter this academic institute.
The school boasts of maintaining an average of producing 75 advanced level students, from Art, Commerce, Science and Technology steams who get the opportunity to enter university.
The international and national level achievements in sports by the students is outstanding. The students are lucky to have been placed at national level competitions in numerous subjects like Sinhala language, English language, Drama and Theatre, Geography etc during the past few years.
Both the students and the teachers of the school in the art stream have produced many national level achievements continuously. The school produced achievers who were selected for the national level art competition in 2017. The cadet platoons over the years have managed to uplift the image of the institute by emerging as champions of the seventh Battalion (Gampaha District) several times. They were also the national champions during the Billet Inspection in 2016. The students in the science and mathematics streams of the school have started to produce numerous achievements at national level, especially at National Olympiad competitions.
We would also like to pay our gratitude to the Past Pupils Association of the school for their continuous support in developing the status of the school in numerous ways.
In commemorating its 65th anniversary the school organized a walk and a mega exhibition. The walk, held recently, was a great success. The exhibition will be conducted from 28th February to 02nd March at the school premises.
We wish D. S. Senanayake National School all success.
Sumudu Geethani –