by K.S. Sivakumaran
With an un-enthusiastic frame of mind thinking that the Ramanathan Hindu Ladies College situated in Bambalapitiya on Duplication Road near the Colombo Hindu College and Saraswathi Hall would be yet another Government School I went to meet the Principal, Kothai Nagularajah and her well-mannered and enthusiastic staff recently.
Her staff of more than 100 dedicated and qualified teachers included mainly young and middle-aged Thamil ladies, one or two Sinhala ladies and a few Muslim ladies and two or three male teachers.
My prejudice or pre-judgment proved wrong as I underwent a change in my attitude wondering the efficient management and the discipline and orderliness maintained as the prime factor of recognizing the school as one of the outstanding schools in Colombo. Having worked in some International Schools in Lanka and abroad, I would dare say that Ramanathan College, Colombo is as good as an International School or even better than such schools in terms of administration and discipline.
Why I went to this school was on an invitation by the English teacher,Uma Suthan, (whom I had not known before) with the direction of the Principal and perhaps on a suggestion by a University lecturer, Prasanthan to be the chief guest along with the guest of honour,M Kailasanathan, retired bilingual sectional head on the observance of the College’s English Day 2012.
We understand that the school has produced excellent results in the local General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level (O/L) and Advanced Level (A/L) examinations.
Nearly 2000 students study in the school that has classes from the primary to the A/L in both English and Thamil media. Besides, the school has bands and students actively participate in all extra curricular activities.
The school while keeping to its tradition of maintaining a Thamilian cultural atmosphere, also was not averse to assimilating other cultures to suit the different occasions. And when it came to the English Day, the items presented in an almost professional way were all in English only.
Apart from the formalities there were presentations of blossoming talents of girls from grade two to grade 11. Items were short and neat except for one or two items the duration was a little longer. There was no loss of time between different items.
The announcers did a good job with clear enunciation and correct diction. There was kind of serenity all around.
The items included: recitation, prepared Speech, song, miming show that was hilarious, recorder ensemble, story telling, junior drama, dance, junior song and senior drama.
The dance item was so popular that there was a repetition at the end of the programme.
The innate talents of the girls familiar with the English Language and modernity came to the fore.
The guests were invited to the nearby venue, Saraswathi Hall, walking with the accompaniment of the band. It was all a new experience for this writer.
The Principal and the chief guest addressed the students