In pursuit of its vision of broadening the boundaries of education in this country, which, in a couple of decades, has seen the expansion of its reach from the Nugegoda mother school, to branches in Panadura, Wattala, Ratnapura, Gampaha, Nuwara Eliya, Anuradhapura and Kurunegala. Lyceum International recently opened its first “Leaf School” in Kuliyapitiya. The event, held on 14th September 2020, was graced by Mrs. A.A.S.P. Ratnasekera, Zonal Educational Director, Kuliyapitiya, as Chief Guest, Mr. D.M.K. Dissanayake as Guest of Honour, Mr. H.M.P.K. Herath, Secretary, Urban Council, Kuliyapitiya and Dr. P. Weerarathne, Director, Teaching Hospital, Kuliyapitiya.
They were welcomed by Dr.(Mrs.) Kumari Grero, Coordinating Principal & Chief Academic Officer of Lyceum International Schools, its Chief Visionary Officer, Mr. Nikitha Grero, Group Director Operations, Mr. Kushan Gunasekera and Deputy Director Operations, Mr. Saliya Kulasekera, and Principal of Lyceum Kurunegala and Anuradhapura schools Mr. Chandana Basnayake. Religious dignitaries of the area, representing diverse faiths, were amongst the special invitees. Staying true to pure Sri Lankan tradition, the visitors were welcomed by a Kandyan dancing troupe and the offering of betel leaves, followed by the lighting of the ceremonial oil lamp. The welcome address was delivered by Mrs. Hishana Martinez, Primary Headmistress of Lyceum International, Kurunegala.
Re-enforcing the Lyceum philosophy of empowering its students, the key-note address was delivered by Miss. Arindhi Jayasinghe, Grade 8 student of Lyceum, Kurunegala, a major achiever who, in 2019, brought honour to both the school and country as a representative at the Global Social Leaders’ Summit of 2019, held in the United Kingdom. In her speech, the Chief Guest, Mrs. Ratnasekera, emphasized the untiring efforts and the contribution of the Founder, Mohan Lal Grero as a far-seeing educationist, in broadening the scope of English education in other areas of the island. She also recalled his early days as a Physics teacher. In his address, Mr. Nikitha Grero spoke of the genesis of Lyceum and its philosophy of motivation of children, which places particular emphasis on Sri Lankan culture and on the fruits of education being harnessed, first, for the development of the nation.
Mr. Chandana Basnayake, The Principal of Lyceum Kurunegala and Anuradhapura briefly explained to the gathering the existing nature of education in the country and the importance of the improvements the Lyceum system offered. A special feature of the colourful opening ceremony was the very active participation of both children and their parents, an indication of the highly interactive relationship between teacher and student-parent, as envisaged by the Lyceum philosophy of education. To mark the opening day, each child, as a symbolic first activity, planted a tree selected from varieties such as Karanda, Sandalwood, Mee, Mango and Neem.
Each tree will bear a species identification tag, the date of planting and, most importantly, the name of the child who planted it. A tradition has been set in place which will be followed for all future admissions as well. The tree will grow along with the child, inculcating in the child, at a very early age, the importance of nature conservation. The primary objective of the “Leaf School” venture is to provide opportunity to children in the suburbs of the main Schools, at Pre-Primary level and to give them the necessary educational grounding, thereby providing the best of the students the opportunity of enrolling in the Lyceum International Schools at Grade 1, in any of its main branches.
The “Leaf School” concept is also designed to promote quality English language education from the early years of children and, eventually, as adults, enhancing their desirability in the job market. In the process, it will also empower teachers whilst standardizing Pre-School education at a superior level. In recognition of the need for the improvement of English Language skills, this special project has been launched in Kuliyapitiya first, to be extended later to other suburbs of the Lyceum schools. Once the maiden initiative is consolidated, it will be extended to the other targeted areas.
A special monitoring panel of educationists will regularly evaluate the effectiveness of both the new schools and the teachers, in order to ensure a sustainable level of quality. Planned day-care centres attached to the schools will be another special feature, designed to ease the parents’ burden. Additionally, in view of the difficulties of travel in outstation areas, a transport service will also be provided for students at an affordable rate. The Lyceum “Leaf School” concept is the latest expression of the young Visionary leader of Lyceum, Mr. Nikitha Grero who has committed his service, to the pursuit of excellence in education.