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It gives me great pleasure to write a few words about the founding of Sri Rahula College in the city of Anuradhapura. Looking back at the past decade or so of its existence, it has become a beacon of learning in the North Central Province, providing a need for all the young people of the area.

Our mission at Sri Rahula College is to develop young men and women with active and creative minds, a sense of understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their beliefs. We stress the total development of each child: spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical recognizes that each child is an individual; that all children are creative; that all children need to succeed. Therefore, Sri Rahula College respects the individual needs of children; fosters a caring and creative environment; and emphasizes the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development of each child. As Nelson Mandela emphasized on many an occasion: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

The city of Anuradhapura is now a World Heritage site and was the center of  Buddhism and learning for many centuries.  It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is believed that from the fourth century BCE until the beginning of the 11th century CE it was the capital of the Sri Lanka nation. During this period it remained one of the most stable and durable centers of learning, political power and urban life in South Asia. The ancient city, considered sacred to the Buddhist world, is today surrounded by monasteries covering an area of over 16 square miles.

However, in recent years, the city did not have a strong background in education which deprived the youth of the province the social mobility in today’s world. With this in mind, I initiated the idea of starting Sri Rahula College to meet the needs of all young people in the area. Starting a new school involves many challenges—managing the budget, acquiring suitable facilities, designing the instructional program, and hiring qualified and experienced teachers, to name a few. Founders encounter substantial autonomy in their decision-making as they operationalize their vision for a school, that autonomy brings responsibility for an overwhelming list of activities, including but certainly not limited to maintaining appropriate accounting procedures; complying with local and government educational policy; providing meals, security, custodians, psychological services, and transportation needs of the students and of course, above all the educating of children. Our mission at Sri Rahula College is to develop young men and women with active and creative minds, a sense of understanding and compassion for others, and the courage to act on their beliefs. We stress the total development of each child: spiritual, moral, intellectual, social, emotional, and physical. We do recognize that each child is an individual; that all children are creative; that all children need to succeed. Therefore, at Sri Rahula College we respect the individual needs of children; foster a caring and creative environment; and emphasize the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development of each child thereby making them the future of a better and progressive country.

 

R N Thennakoon
Founder / Managing Director
Sri Rahula College
Anuradhapura
Sri Lanka

R N Thennakoon

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