Twelve of Sri Lanka’s brightest young students have been rewarded by Commercial Bank of Ceylon with nearly Rs.750,000 in scholarships and cash prizes as Sri Lanka’s largest private bank began the disbursement of ‘Arunalu’ rewards to top achievers at the 2016 Year 5 scholarship examination.
Total disbursements are expected to top Rs.5 million under this year’s rewards programme conducted by ‘Arunalu’ – the bank’s signature savings account for children – which is designed to motivate and support student aspirations.
Among the first recipients of Arunalu scholarships this year were one student placed second in the island at the examination and four others placed third in the island. The five students, by virtue of being ‘Arunalu’ account holders, will receive a total of Rs.467,500 in monthly instalments of Rs.1,500 and Rs.1,000 each, respectively, till they turn 18.
The student placed first at the Year 5 scholarship examination received an outright cash grant of Rs.100,000 from Commercial Bank, while six others, comprising of non-‘Arunalu’ account holders placed second and third in the island received cash prizes of Rs.50,000 and Rs.25,000 each, respectively.
A surprise gift of a laptop with software specially designed for visually affected users was presented by Commercial Bank Managing Director Jegan Durairatnam to a student from Kandy who achieved 181 marks after taking the examination in Braille language.
The bank said many more eligible ‘Arunalu’ prize winners will be presented with their prizes at branch level in due course.
Launched in 1991, ‘Arunalu’ is Commercial Bank’s key savings account for children of the school going age. The cash prize scheme introduced in 1998 is now the largest Year 5 scholarship cash prize scheme in the country.
‘Arunalu’ rewards students placed first, second or third at the national, district or school levels, through a three-tiered scholarships scheme. Intended to inspire young students and emphasise the value of good education, Commercial Bank’s ‘Arunalu’ savings account pays up to Rs.382,500 to the top three scorers islandwide at the 2016 Year 5 scholarship examination, if they have ‘Arunalu’ accounts in their names.
On this basis, the student or students placed first in the island each receive up to Rs.170,000 in monthly instalments of Rs.2,000 till the age of 18. Similarly, students placed second in the island receive up to Rs.127,500 in monthly instalments of Rs.1,500, while those placed third in the island receive up to Rs.85,000 in monthly instalments of Rs.1,000 each.
Additionally, students ranked first in their respective districts at the examination receive up to Rs.50,000 if they are ‘Arunalu’ account holders and accountholders who are placed first, second and third in their schools receive cash prizes of Rs.10,000, Rs.7,500 and Rs.5,000 each, respectively.
In 2013, Commercial Bank’s ‘Arunalu’ children’s savings account paid Rs.4 million in cash rewards to students placed first, second and third in their respective schools at the Year 5 scholarship examination. In 2014, the total paid out under the scheme increased to Rs.5.3 million and to Rs.5.5 million in 2015.
‘Arunalu’ accounts can be opened for children below 18 years of age at any of Commercial Bank’s branches islandwide.