The Sri Lankan School, known as “Sinhala School – Bahrain” was established in 1992 with only a single teacher and less than 10 students. Today, the Sinhala School in Bahrain has nearly 150 students who are domiciled in the Kingdom of Bahrain. All these students study in English medium at various schools in Bahrain for their conventional education. The Sinhala School is administered under the patronage of “Sri Lanka Club”, the only registered Sri Lankan Association in Bahrain established 40 years ago, and conducts multitude of programs for Sri Lankan students to study and master the language of Sinhalese. The School consists of Grades ranging from Primary to Ordinary Level and has a dozen of teachers specialized in the language of Sinhalese, history of Sri Lanka, religions of Sri Lanka including Buddhism, traditional dancing and culture, heritage and ethos of the country, among others.
At the Award Ceremony, Ambassador Dr. A. Saj U. Mendis stated in his remarks that the multifarious performances of the students were exceptionally impressive and particularly their impromptu speeches and singing of Jana Kavi without any notes or material by the students of Sinhala School, patently and manifestly demonstrated their acquired self-confidence, self-assuredness, perspicuity, leadership and communication skills, discipline, commitments and dedication among others. On the same note, Ambassador Mendis added that it would be befitting and pertinent to state that the teachers of the Sinhala School have contributed and committed diligently and tenaciously in molding and forging as well as inculcating values, ethos and traditions to the students of the Sinhala School. The President of Sri Lanka Club, Mr. Ahmed Rizvi, and Head of Education, Mr. Wasantha Kahaduwa, echoed these sentiments and added that the School conducts classes only on Fridays since Friday is a holiday in the Kingdom of Bahrain. However, both of them expounded that the students are given extensive homework and training during the course of the week.
Almost all of these students are being trained and taught with the objective of taking the highly competitive Cambridge IGCSE (Ordinary Level) Sinhala Language examination. In the recent past, a significant number of students have taken the Cambridge IGCSE (O/L) Sinhala Language and have excelled with impressive grades. This year too, a number of students have sat for the Cambridge IGCSE (O/L) and are awaiting for results.
Last week, Sinhala School of Bahrain held the Annual Award Ceremony and several contests such as speech, traditional dancing, Jana Kavi, art, essay, dictation, history of Sri Lanka and current affairs of Sri Lanka, among others. The Awards were handed over to the students who had successfully vied and competed at competitions, contests and internal examinations of the School ranging from speech competitions to current affairs of Sri Lanka. At the Annual Award Ceremony, Ms. Chathurrma Ranasingha, Head of Labor & Welfare of the Embassy, in her address, stated that these students would be able to preserve and protect the intrinsic and inherent tradition, heritage, values and culture of the country despite the fact that most of these students may study and work away from Sri Lanka in the future. She also requested these students to be successful in their chosen discipline or calling and return to Sri Lanka to mutually contribute to their motherland.
Ambassador Dr. Mendis stated that the contribution of the Sinhala School to students of all nationalities, ethnicities and faiths would nurture and foster skills, particularly “soft skills” and competencies, such as interpersonal, leadership, communication and public speaking and organizational as well as equip them to be efficacious team-players in their future careers and trades, thus enabling them to compete and to contend ably on regional and global tapestry. Both the members of the Education Committee of Sinhala School and Dr. Mendis affirmed the sagacious words of Benjamin Franklin over a couple of centuries ago, “An investment in knowledge & education pays the best interest than any other investment”. A large number of Sri Lankans and non-Sri Lankans who were present stated that after witnessing the brilliant and dazzling feat of the students of Sinhala School Annual Award Ceremony, the quotation of Benjamin Franklin could not have been more true today than two and half centuries ago.