Giggles International School makes headway:
Women capable of running any business
Education is the gateway to a bright future and the key to success.
It is an essential part of the childhood development process that
ensures personality and competence building. Selecting the right
education institute plays an important role in the quality and standard
of the service received.
Target setting and result orientation have made the Giggles
International School stand tall among other education providers in the
country. Giggles International School Principal and Giggles Educational
Services Managing Director Thushari Koralage has made great strides in
the education field moulding a large number of students to harness their
She was interviewed by Daily News Business.
Q. What is the business you are
engaged in and how do you set about it?
A. I engage in education.
I was a Government trained English teacher and served the Southern and
Western Provinces. I was the in-service advisor for the Sri
Jayawardhanapura educational zone. My intention was to help students
increase the Ordinary Level English marks. I launched my own school to
pursue my ambition as I had the freedom to achieve my goal.
Giggles International montessori was set up in 2001 with three
children. My daughter was the first child to be admitted. The idea of
starting a montessori came to me when I was looking for a montessori for
my elder daughter as I found it difficult to find a suitable montessori
for her in the area. However, I admitted her to a montessori in Colombo
and thereafter set up my own montessori with the help of my mother, a
retired teacher. My main intention was to provide the correct basic
English knowledge to children in the area who could not afford to attend
a good montessori with other values in our culture. It was successful
and the children’s parents persuaded me to start the school in 2003.
The school has grown and the next grade is added annually. We have
classes up to grade eight at present. We teach the international
If any student needs to sit the London O/L examination in grade nine
we will permit it.
Today Giggles International School has 1,100 students in roll with an
academic staff of 78 and a non-academic staff of 28. All the teachers
are trained graduates and we also have in-house training programs, which
are compulsory for all teachers. Almost all the teachers are engaged in
external education and the increments are based on their performance.
Tuition is banned in our school and parents are happy about it. We
produce good results. Twenty students sat the Junior Certificate
examination conducted by the Association of International Schools Sri
Lanka last year and seven won gold medals, none silver medals and other
bronze medals. We have introduced extracurricular activities including
swimming, wushu and chess. Selecting one type of sport is compulsory for
students during school hours.
Thushari Koralage with her husband and three daughters Savani,
Vihari and Mandani
We have been the All Island wushu champions for the past three years.
The school supports the Education Department by conducting the national
curriculum with the London curriculum as an option. The school also has
a branch in Matara operating under the same concept. Currently it has
only the montessori and the grade one class will be introduced next
year. We take total responsibility of the children.
Q. How do you balance your family
life and business?
A. My husband Sumith
Tennakoon is the main prop behind my venture. His support is a tower of
strength and he supports me. I have three daughters who are doing well
in their studies. Though I am a busy person I spend quality time with
them. We strike a balance between business and family life. We teach our
children to be independent.
Q. What were the challenges you
A. Since I started my
career in the Government sector I faced many challenges due to my
colleagues. What I have achieved now is due to those challenges. My
mother inspired me a great deal.
Q. What are your goals?
A. My main aim was to
produce the best school in Sri Jayawardhanapura and this has been
already achieved. My next goal is to make the school the best in Sri
I want children to do well in studies. We teach all three languages
and hope this will promote peace and harmony.
One of our goals is to produce a set of independent children with
good values, honour and respect.
Q. Being a woman was it an advantage
to be in business?
A. It’s a little hard for
a woman to be business. However, dedication, courage and challenges
ensured success. Any woman who wants to come up in life needs a vision
and a goal.
We are strong by nature and need to capitalize on it.
Q. What is your advice to women in
A. Women usually dream of
being housewives before marriage. However, any woman can mange a
business and family smoothly as they are wise and energetic. Women can
anything with ‘yes I can do’ attitude.
They can help their family to prosper and need to update their
knowledge especially by reading.
Q. What are your achievements in
family life and business?
A. With regard to family,
we enjoying spending time together reading, playing and watching
television. The children are provided with quality education to make
them scholars and to run the business.
As far as business is concerned the school started on a 33 perch land
and now spread to over one acre. The student population too has
Q. What is your contribution to
A. We conduct many social
service projects. We were among the first to build a house for a family
affected by the tsunami. We refurbished the children’s ward at the IDH
Hospital in Angoda. We have provided jobs for differently able people.
We help poor children in the neighbourhood schools.
We also have a daycare centre to support parents. Our students are
good in education, sports and aesthetics. We have provided conducive
environment to enjoy their childhood with the hope of producing a better