The college was awarded the International School Award (ISA) by the British Council
Energized Thomians MAR 23 2016
All schools face the formidable task of preparing students to take their rightful place in the challenging years ahead. "As the world becomes increasingly turbulent and competitive, conventional teaching that prepares students mainly to pass exams is no longer sufficient to secure their future success," explained Rev. Father Christopher Balraj, the Headmaster of S. Thomas' College, Bandarawela. "In addition to helping them pass their examinations, we need to prepare them mentally, physically, emotionally, attitudinally and behaviourally to confidently face and overcome dauntingfuture challenges. This is a formidable task that can be compared to coaching players to win a game whose rules can change almost overnight." He added.
Iranga Amilana, Secretary of the Old Boys' Association of S. Thomas' College, Bandarawela, explained why they took on this difficult task. "As Old Thomians fighting to sustain success in today's increasingly complex world, we felt an urgent need to find new ways to arm our students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a fiercely competitive future world. We were searching for someone who could give a new meaning to 'education' while following the conventional educational framework that requires students to do well in their public examinations. We were delighted to find that Dr Asoka Jinadasa has been working on similar lines to help organisations and their employees face future challenges that were impossible to forecast, and that he was passionately interested in sharing his new insights and methods with teachers, students and their parents."
"We felt that his book 'Flying Penguin: How to create miracles using the six dimensions of success' provided an actionable framework for a holistic new approach to education. We were delighted when he accepted our invitation to conduct a workshop to share his insights and methodologies with over 100 teachers and administrative staff of "S. Thomas' College Bandarawela " explained Vino Vigneshahar, Asst. Secretary of S.Thomas' College Bandarawela Old Boys' Association.
Dr Asoka Jinadasa explained the importance of sharing his new concepts with teachers, students and parents. "Every preschool child learns to walk and talk without a teacher and they can intuitively use a smartphone long before they learn to read. Children are born with whole brain integration, which means that their left-brain rational abilities (languages, maths, science, etc.) are well balanced with right-brain creative abilities (music, dancing, singing, drawing, etc.). Studies suggest that this balance increases their brain power by 5 to 10 times, which is what makes children 'learning machines'. Unfortunately, instead of helping little children develop their vast inborn intelligence, parents and elders discourage and even punish them when they try to be 'too smart' or do new things deemed 'risky'. Schoolchildren are often forced to concentrate on studies and abandon creative pursuits such as music, dancing, drawing, sports etc. As a result, children lose their inborn whole brain integration, resulting in a lack of energy and creativity and increased behavioural problems. By unduly protecting children from everything from germs to risky behaviours, parents and elders reduce their ability to fight for their rightful places in the fiercely competitive decades ahead. Teachers therefore have a great responsibility to protect children from the negative influences of well-meaning parents and elders while teaching them to follow social and family norms without losing their true personality. Teachers have to energise and empower students to learn new things on their own, instead of filling them with information that could become obsolete within a few years."
"My holistic new six-dimensional model of success and leadership is symbolised by Heart (emotional intelligence and loving kindness), Mind (rational, creative and spiritual intelligence), Passion (the fire within that fuels success), Focus (ability to achieve goals despite setbacks), Health (natural and stress-free health without medicines) and Body (that houses all other dimensions). It provides a holistic framework for developing all the competencies that students will lead to success in an increasingly chaotic and competitive world," he concluded.
The S. Thomas' college in Bandarawela is a branch of S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, which is under the Anglican Church of Ceylon and run by a Board of Governors chaired by the Anglican Bishop of Colombo. The administration of the colleges is under headmasters who are Anglican priests.
Over the years, S. Thomas' College, Bandarawela marked itself as a unique private boarding school going beyond the barriers of caste, creed, religion, ethnicity and advocating the Principle of Oneness and Unity among her student population. Much more than a school, rich in tradition, characterized by nearly seventy five years of hard work, dedication and achievement, all imbibed with the legendary Thomian Spirit.
A pioneering institution which has nurtured the very best in youth; where mere boys went in and great men came out to be "men and gentlemen always" men who beat the odds with the legendary "Thomian grit" and gentlemen who up held the motto of the school - Esto Perpetua!
Strengthened by a team of dedicated and well qualified tutorial staff, providing not only the requisite curriculum, but education in many areas, including sports that arm the students with knowledge adequate to face the world of higher education and careers beyond the gates, S. Thomas' College is undoubtedly the best of its kind in the Island.
The college was awarded the International School Award (ISA) by the British Council.