Visakha marks 100 years of excellence

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By 2017-01-08

Visakha Vidyalaya, Colombo, will be marking its 100th milestone this year, with several programmes lined up throughout the year. Proudly declaring 100 years of providing a sound education, as well as providing opportunities to thousands of girls to pursue extra-curricular activities, Visakha Vidyalaya, has remained as the most-sought after school for girls in the country for many years, and as the school which requires the highest scores for entry through the Grade 5 Scholarship examination.

Visakha Vidyalaya also takes pride in having the highest 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 the traditional careers, Visakhians are holding top positions and performing well in other non-traditional professions in various sectors, becoming visionaries in their own fields both here and abroad.

Visakha thus has reason to celebrate this 100th momentous milestone in style. The first major fund raiser in the exciting line up of events for the year is the 'Visakha Centenary Walk 2017.' It is organized by the Visakha Vidyalaya Old Girls' Association jointly with the School Development Committee. The Walk will be held on 11 February 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 Thunmualla and back to school via Vajira Road.

On return to the school, a mini carnival will be held 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 Organizing Committee has thus provided a valuable opportunity for present and past Visakhians to reunite and celebrate their school's 100 year journey.

The proceeds of the Walk will be exclusively channeled towards the construction of the new building for the primary school. The proposed three-storied building will 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 for the parents to wait. 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 'Visakha Centenary Walk 2017,' the first programme that marks the school's 100th birthday is the Bodhi Pooja on 16 January, which is officially the school's date of birth. On 21 January, an alms giving for 100 Bhikkunis will be held at the school premises, in keeping with the school's Buddhist traditions. A special Commemorative Coin will be launched at a ceremony in January. An Educational Exhibition is also scheduled for March. Apart from the Walk, the second major fund-raiser for the year will be the 'Visakha Carnival' scheduled for 7 and 8 April, which is a grander version of the traditional Avurudu pola that takes place at the school premises annually. A campfire will be held for past and present girl guides in August while the 'Visakha Geetha Natakaya' will be held in October 2017.

The progress of the school over the years and the prestige it enjoys today as an outstanding seat of learning in the country is indeed a fitting tribute to the founder, the farsighted and philanthropic 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.




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