Nita Kumari Pilapitiya Principal Musaeus College (1995-2008)
Nita Kumari Pilapitiya who has served Musaeus College as Principal
for period of 14 years will be retiring on December 31. She is the 14th
distinguished Principal of this August institution, since its inception
under our pioneer Principal Marie Musaeus Higgins. I am happy to say
Mrs. Pilapitiya is the most senior principal who is still in the field
of education in Sri Lanka as she has already completed 50 years of
service in the profession of teaching.
Hailing from a respectable Kandyan family she was born in Ukuwela
near Matale. Nita Kumari Pilapitiya (nee Tennakoon) had her primary
education at St. Agnes Convent, Matale. She passed her S.S.C. in the 1st
division at the very young age of 15 years. Thereafter the Matriculation
Examination, she joined Musaeus College for higher studies. She had a
brilliant school career which ended with her entry to the University.
Nita Kumari Pilapitiya
Hailing from a respectable
Kandyan family she was born in Ukuwela near Matale. Nita Kumari
Pilapitiya (nee Tennakoon) had her primary education at St.
Agnes Convent, Matale. She passed her S.S.C. in the 1st division
at the very young age of 15 years. Thereafter the Matriculation
Examination, she joined Musaeus College for higher studies. She
had a brilliant school career which ended with her entry to the
She was in the first batch of University students to go into
residence at Peradeniya in 1952. Her distinguished University and school
career brought much credit to her school as she passed out with an
Honours Degree in Geography. She also has an International Diploma from
the National Institute of Education Planning and Administration in New
Delhi. As she was brought up strictly according to Kandyan customs and
tradition, her father had insisted that she join the noble profession of
teaching, which she started at the age of 23.
Her first appointment was to a boys school St. Anthony's College,
Kandy. After that she served in a number of schools such as Warala Maha
Vidyalaya, BMS-Matale (presently Sanghamitta College) and Kalutara
Balika Vidyalaya, etc. Her first appointment as principal was to St.
Anthony's Girls School - Katugastota for 8 years.
Then she joined the prestigious hill country school - Mahamaya
College, Kandy as principal where she maintained a good record. During
her period, as principal Mahamaya reached the peak both in academic and
extra curricular activities. Satisfied by her great service to this
institution, the Ministry of Education appointed her as Additional
Provincial Director of Education, Kandy and later as the Director of
Education, Central Province which position she held until her retirement
from Government service.
In 1995 January she took up the post of principal in this great
institution Musaeus College. As a past pupil of Musaeus College I
consider it a unique privilege to have served as her Secretary under her
tutelage. In thought, deed and word, attitude, manner and demeanour, she
was indeed ideally equipped to function as principal of a Sinhala
Buddhist Girls school. It is also a great opportunity to serve as
principal of ones very own 'Alma Mater' - a rare privilege and honour.
Mrs. Pilapitiya occupied the college principal's bungalow within the
school premises. Hence early every morning we see this stately figure,
clad in a Kandyan saree wearing a matching coloured bead necklace,
carrying her hand bag in her right hand walking into the school office.
During her tenure of office as principal, Musaeus College she brought
the school to unprecedented heights in practically all spheres of school
life. Mrs Pilapitiya gave admirable direction to nearly 6,200 students
and 340 teachers. She justified the trust reposed in her by setting by
example to all of us at Musaeus College. She raised the status of the
school, maintaining a very high standard of discipline in the school.
She did her best to impart the Buddhist way of life to her students.
She had the qualities of a good principal. She was punctual;
respected in and out of school. Her students are acclaimed as well
conducted people. We count among our past students a number of
professionals, doctors, lawyers, accountants. Besides the encouragement
and support our students received from her in the academic stream, she
instilled a sense of propriety and decorum in them which distinguished
our students from others.
The school functions Sports Meet, Alms Giving, Prize Giving and
Sports Award ceremony were carried to an excellent conclusion under her
inspired guidance. Being a mother herself she always looked into the
total protection of her students.
In the evening, however late, she walks in to the College Hostel to
see the welfare of the hostellers and to discuss with them about their
Her well founded and just administration extends to the extra
curricular activities of this educational institution. We see today,
Musaeus College at the very helm of education and educational programmes
in this country.
She maintained a very cordial relationship with the Musaeus College
Past Pupils Association. Being the President and a Past Pupil of the
MCPPA she was a tower of strength to the Association. She always went
out of her way to help the old Past Pupils and those who needed help.
All the activities of the Association went smoothly under her
Although being a mother of two sons and two daughters and a
grandmother of nine grandchildren she always had time to devote her
services to her students all over. Her grateful students from various
fields who are in top places in Sri Lanka and abroad, still make warm
inquiries and visit her often.
Having worked closely with her for as long as she was principal of
Musaeus College, I believe I can attest to her integrity and forthright
manner. Her intentions were always honest, her actions were ever seen
from the point of view of her students, staff and College. Her judgement
was always fair.
Dear Madam, your retirement is indeed a sad event for Musaeus. When I
look back on the years I spent working with you I recall with grateful
thanks the lessons you tought me, the example you set. I learnt many
lessons from you, to accept challenge with a smile. As you leave us at
the end of the year leaving behind all your students, I wish you a happy
retirement away from stress and strain, a life of perfect peace, filled
with good health.
I say farewell, my greatly loved teacher. Thank you for all you have
done so well. We will never ever forget you!