Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya reaches another golden chapter
‘Understanding through action’ (Kriyawen Awabodaya) was destined to
be its motto when the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Balika Vidyalaya was
established 35 years ago on January 1, 1973 in line with the
Government’s vision to promote new education reforms introduced in the
Sports fact file
2008 All Island
champs (under 17 Division A)
1st Runner up (under 19 Division A)
1998 All Island National Sports
1999 Inter school All Island
2002 All island junior champs
2000 National Schools Athletics under 21
2 gold /1 silver
2 silver/1 bronze
1st runner up (under 19)
2003 interschool all Island 1st
place 2007 best player
2004/5/6/7 All Island
U 19 Champs
U 15 Champs
2004 Milo Trophy U 18 Champs
2007 National Gymnastic Championship 2nd place
The founding principal Wimala Liyanage and the first academic
Located in the heart of Colombo at Stanmore Crescent it came into
existence as a model primary school with a mere 149 students and a five
strong and dedicated group of teachers led by Miss Wimala Liyanage, the
Through her leadership the school was off to a flying start and it
offered best environment for primary education.
Thanks to the excellent parent-teacher relations, an efficient
administration and the concerted dedication of pupil-parent-teacher
trio, the school had been elevated to its current standing where it is
in par with the other leading girls’ schools in the island, be it
education or co-curricular activities.
During the past 35 years the school has produced and been a place of
guidance for many a leading women in the country as well in the
During the first decade the school acquired its junior secondary
status increasing classes up to Grade 8. As the number of students
multiplied, the need for expanding physical infrastructure was felt by
the school authorities.
As a result, a foundation was laid to the ‘Dasa building’, which
currently serves as the school’s main hall and construction of the
Guruge Hall for the aesthetic department was begun. During the same
period the school saw the setting up of a complete laboratory facility
and the expansion in the teaching cadre from 5 to 35 showing off its
improvement in the scales of quality as well as quantity.
Succeeding the founding principal, Mrs. R. M. L. Jayasekera took
Her 17 year service was considered to be one of the most outstanding
years of the school. She was seen as a tough administrator but deep
underneath she was a very compassionate mother for all her children.
During her tenure the first batch of Sirimavians sat for the GCE
Ordinary Level examination in 1984. All the candidates from school
obtained exceptional passes at this first national exam. As a direct
outcome of this achievement, the Ministry of Education gave permission
to establish GCE advanced level classes simultaneously in all four study
streams; Maths, Science, Commerce and Arts in 1985.
Around the same time the school received another windfall. The
adjoining Stanmore Public Sports ground was donated to Sirimavo with the
intervention of the Education Ministry. This turned a new leaf in the
development of the school’s sports sector.
In 1993, the work on laboratory-building and the shrine room was
completed. By then the school had a total of 2,500 students studying
under her guidance. The first team of school prefects were also
appointed in 1989.
In 1991, the school reached a milestone. Recognising their excellence
it was awarded the status of a National School. A land and a building to
provide hostel facilities for distant students selected on merit from
national exams, now that it was a national school, were also taken over
during the same period. The school’s IT education facilities were also
expanded with a new computer learning centre.
GCE AL science
girls busy at the physics lab
Swimmers rehearsing a Water Ballet performance for the Pool
Complex opening today
Miss.W. P. N. de Silva who had served the school for over 25 years,
at the latter part as a Senior Deputy Principal took over the reigns of
the school subsequent to Mrs. Jayasekera.
In 2002, the hostel was ceremoniously opened.
With the aim of training future media personalities as well as
opening up opportunities in the field of mass media for its students,
the ‘sisuvisara’ broadcasting studio was inaugurated at the school
premises in 2003.
By this time the school was already maintaining external links with
leading media bodies like ‘Rupavahini ‘and many of its students were
The present Principal of SBBV Pushpa Kalubowila(B.Sc/M.ed) too holds
a lengthy service at Sirimavo. Starting off as a Chemistry teacher in
1986, she then rose to become a class teacher, a Section Head, and a
Deputy Principal before she returned to the school as the new Principal
in 2003 after a brief service elsewhere. Today the school witnesses the
fruits of her enthusiasm and dedication.
From 2004 to 2008 the school witnessed rapid development. A double
storeyed building for the arts faculty was constructed. The medical
centre, school auditorium and the press are a few to mention.
The dream of constructing their own swimming pool was first conceived
in 2006. A gifted swimmer Piyumi Ekanayake bagged two silver medals at
the 2006 SAF games held in Colombo.
The school organised a ceremony in recognition of her outstanding
achievement and also to show off their pride. At the event the medallist
recalled the hardships she had to go through during the training due to
lack of facilities in the school listening to her anecdote Mrs.
Kalubowila felt, it was time the school built her own pool.
With parents’, teachers’ and students’ dedication the dream has
become a reality today. A total of Rs.30 million was raised for the
construction. Head of Nawaloka Group H. K. Dharmadasa donated the
initial Rs.10 million.
The children and parents organised numerous events to raise the
Today, a foundation stone will also be laid for a multi-storey
building that would house a library among others. A new IT training
centre is also in the offing.
Despite the ‘stiff air’ surrounding the school, for its neighbours
being military top brass, ministers and Government officials, Sirimavo
is one of the most sought after schools by parents. The same reason has
also made it a popular choice for children of military personnel. The
school pride itself of nurturing the qualities; humbleness, respect for
society and elders. Discipline has been a lifelong hallmark. Currently
the school has a 155 teaching staff and a 46 member non-academic staff
steering a total of 3,035 students on their way to a bright future.
SBBV teachers with current Principal Pushpa Kalubowila
(The writer is a past pupil of the school)