President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is seen waving at the students of Ananda College. (Inset) The seven-storey Sath Mahala
- Says he expects to introduce drastic changes to education
By Lahiru Pothmulla
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the first and only Executive President produced from Ananda College, Colombo, yesterday declared open the ‘Sath Mahala,’ the new seven-storey building of Ananda College.
Built at a cost of Rs.620 million, Sath Mahala is the first school building of its kind in Sri Lanka. The building consists of 44 classrooms, laboratories, computer and art rooms for students, the main library and a medical centre.
The foundation stone for the construction of the building was laid by the then Education Minister Bandula Gunawaradna on January 1, 2015 when the President was the then Defence Secretary.
President Gotabaya, who arrived at the school yesterday morning, was greeted by the students and then paid homage to the Vihara Mandiraya.
He offered floral tributes to the War Heroes’ Memorial commemorating the war heroes and to Henry Steel Olcott statue in honour of the school’s founding fathers.Addressing the gathering at the Kularatna Hall, the President said the government expects to make drastic changes in the education sector and the development strategies of the government.
“We need to have a vision and a plan to get out of the mindset that Sri Lanka is still a developing country and then to achieve real progress. The government has that vision and plan. We have a great number of tasks to complete in the future and many challenges to overcome. As a nation that has overcome the grave challenges in the past, we can do so in the future as well. This endeavour requires unity and proper leadership,” the President said.
He highlighted the importance of moving towards a student-centric education methods from the existing teacher-centric and exam-centric education.
“From the day the children are admitted to primary school and until the day they leave the school, the parents’ main concern is to make sure that their children pass the exams somehow. Parents should not put undue pressure on the children during their school career,” the President said.
Maha Sangha including Ven. Niyangoda Vijithasiri Nayaka Thera, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma, Bandula Gunawardana, Prasanna Ranatunga, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Principal S.M. Keerthirathna, the staff and old Anandians from various fields were present at the occasion.