Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo will mark its 100th milestone this year, with several programmes lined up throughout to proudly declare a century of providing sound education as well as opportunities to pursue extra-curricular activities.
Visakha Vidyalaya has remained a most sought-after education institution for many years, and as the school which requires the highest marks for entry through the Grade 5 Scholarship examination.
The school also takes pride in having the maximum number of achievers and the highest scorers at the GCE Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations, especially in the Bio-Science stream with the largest number of girls entering medical faculties.
Apart from traditional careers, Visakhians hold top positions and are performing well in other non-traditional professions in various sectors; becoming visionaries in their own fields both here and abroad. Visakha thus has its reasons to vividly commemorate 100 years of excellence.
The first major fund raiser in the exciting line up of events for the year is the ‘Visakha Centenary Walk 2017.’ Organised by the Visakha Vidyalaya Old Girls’ Association, jointly with the School Development Committee, the walk will be held on February 11. Starting from the school premises at 7.30 a.m., it will proceed along Vajira Road, Galle Road; turn to Bauddhaloka Mawatha at the Bambalapitiya junction and to Havelock Road at Thunmulla and back to school via Vajira Road. On return to the school, a mini- carnival will add more glamour at the school premises with food and beverages as well as DJ music to keep the crowd toe-tapping until 1.00 p.m.
The proceeds of the walk will be exclusively channelled towards the construction of the new building for the primary school. The proposed three-storey building would enable Grade 3 and 4 classes - currently located within the senior school - to be housed along with the rest of the primary classes, bringing the primary school to one single location. A pavilion will also be included in the ground floor of the building. The primary building, one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the Visakha Vidyalaya Old Girls’ Association, will be a centennial gift to their Alma Mater.
Apart from the walk, the first programme that marks the school’s 100th successful year is the Bodhi Pooja on January 16, which is officially the school’s date of birth. On January 21, an alms-giving for 100 Bhikkunis will be held at the school premises. A special Commemorative Coin will also be launched at a ceremony.
Further, an educational exhibition is scheduled for March. The second major fund-raiser for the year (apart from the walk), will be the Visakha Carnival that will take place on April 7 and 8. It is expected to be a grander version of the traditional Avurudu Pola that takes place in the school annually. A campfire will be held for past and present girl guides in August while the Visakha Geetha Natakaya will be held in October.
The progress of the school over the years and the prestige it enjoys today as an outstanding seat of learning in the country are indeed a fitting tribute to the founder, the farsighted and philanthropic Mrs. Jeremias Dias, who envisioned the need to educate girls in the Buddhist way of life through this institution. Visakha continues to flourish at the forefront of girls’ education in Sri Lanka, 100 years on.