Sanghamitta Balika Vidyalaya
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First half of the 20th century passed with no English Buddhist Girls’ Colleges in Galle, allowing no girls to receive English education to experience the sense of Buddhism. Seeing no solution for this Hon. Francis Amarasiri Wickramasinghe Muhandiram triggered arrangements to establish the first Buddhist Girls’ School in South in 1919, upon the idea put forward by then principal of Mahinda Vidyalaya, Galle.
Sanghamitta Balika Vidyalaya which was first established at Wellawatta Oroppuwatta, Galle was shifted to a most beautiful little mountain ranging for 1.5 acre facing Galle – Wackwella road. American lady Mrs. Hay received the honour of being the first principal at Sanghamitta which started with only six girls to receive education. Under her guidance the school started with only 4 teachers and combining the primary section of Mahinda Vidyalaya to Sanghmitta Vidyalaya was also an important incident of this time period.
The school which started with only a very few students at first, was soon able to enlarge the number of students, upto 150 & 9 scholars.
After Mrs. Hay, Mrs. Best and Mrs. Butlar, and Eurasian lady Mrs. Vera and Mrs. Mascarence who was an Indian became the principals of the school respectively Ms. Neetha Perera achieved the honour of being the first Sinhalese Principal of Sanghamitta.
Mother Sanghmitta, who attained an indescribable improvment within a very short period of time celebrated her glamourous 25th Anniversary in 1944. Declaration of Sanghamitta as a government school on the 1st of January in 1946, which had been a private English Educational Institution before, was the beginning of a new era.
The next years of the school passed under the guidance of Ms. Chittra Wickramasooriya, who took an immense effort to enhance the influence of Buddhism into the school education with Ms. C. M. A. Pauls, Mrs. E. S. Thambiraja , Mrs. Padma Wijethilaka & Mrs. P. Fonseka.
Sanghamitta experienced a wonderful development along with the construction of a number of new buildings which increased the possibility of producing the intellectuals to the country during the period of Dr. Wijayananda Dahanayaka as the Honourable Minister of Education in 1957. Dr. Dahanayaka has once expressed with his words that he recognized Sanghamitta as one of his beloved elder daughters.
The era of the school (1957-1970) under the guidance of Dr. Thilokasundari Kariyawasam, turned an everlasting page of Sanghamittian history, becoming one of the most renowned schools of the Island. During this period when Sanghamitta was honoured as the mother of whole Buddhist female generation of South, she showed her excellence by showing path for 105 students to the university in 1964. Thus mother Sanghamitta spent the golden age of her life during this period by producing best A/L results of Sri Lanka.
She had already given birth to a number of all-rounders & further extending her majesticity mother Sanghamitta celebrated the golden anniversary along with her daughters who had achieved top levels of the society already.
Later Mrs. G. Daniel, Mrs. Clarice Nanayakkara, Mrs. S. Wijethunga & Mrs. N. B. D. Senevirathne acedt as the principals of glamorous Sanghamitta. During these periods of time, the academic staff of 105 exceeded & 150 numbers of students exceeded upto 4000. Further the inaugurating the school computer section & constructing new buildings in the school including more physical resources took place within this time.
After her 75th anniversary (in 1994) mother Sanghamitta started reaching the pinnacle of her development in physical resources & every other sectors, especially in education & victories in each and every section in extracurricular activities held in the school.
Mrs. M. T. L. Amaradasa (performing), Mrs. K. W. V. Wijerathne, Mrs. K. M. Dharmalatha & Mrs. Enderarachchi were the principals afterwards, and the school’s new library, the four storied building were couple of new facilities which were added to the school during their time period. Also the number of students was increased upto 5000 & the academic staff increased upto 185 along with the development of education network of the school, and other new extracurricular activities including games like scrabble and competitions like spell master etc were inaugurated under the guidance of Mrs. Saraswathi Dahanayaka, who is the present incumbent principal of mother Sanghamitta.
Mother Sanghamitta celebrated her 90th anniversary this year (2009) in a grand way as about 5800 Buddhist girls are now being educated under her guidance.