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Monday, 13 September 2010






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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 true potential.

Thushari Koralage

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 curriculum.

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 faced?

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 Lanka.

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 business?

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 increased tremendously.

Q. What is your contribution to society?

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 younger generation.


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