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Asandhi, pioneers early childhood education with US flavour

Childhood education often focuses on children learning through play, based on the research and philosophy of Jean Piaget. This belief is centered on the “power of play”. It has been thought that children learn more efficiently and gain more knowledge through play-based activities such as dramatic play, art, and social games. This theory stems children's natural curiosity and tendencies to “make believe”, mixing in educational lessons.

Preschool education and kindergarten emphasize learning around the ages of 3–6 years. The terms “day care” and “child care” do not convey the educational aspects, although many childcare centers are now using more educational approaches. The distinction between childcare centers and kindergartens has all but disappeared in countries that require staff in different early childhood facilities to have a teaching qualification.

Researchers and early childhood educators both view the parents as an integral part of the early childhood education process. Often educators refer to parents as the child's “first and best teacher”. Understanding this need in our society Asandhi Jala Walgampaya Seneviratne ventured into ‘Early Childhood Education’ through ‘Rainbow World Education Centre’ in Kandy. With this ,she hopes to give the advantages of quality education to residents of Kandy. Her efforts in this venture have paid dividends by the demand it has now created in this brief period.

She was interviewed by Daily News Business.

Excerpts of the interview.

Q. How do you describe your line of business?

A. Rainbow World is an early childhood development centre. We are presently located in Aniawatte Kandy. We have students aged from 2 to 6 years. At the moment we have 15 students. We commenced the centre only a year ago. Before we left for the UK I followed a Diploma in Early Childhood Development in Kandy. When we returned we opened this pre school last year. I also followed a one year course on Optional Practical Training’ at Wayne College, Nebraska USA. There is a very good demand for our services and we intend to cater to the high-end market.


Asandhi Jala Walgampaya Seneviratne

Q. How do you manage time to handle your personal life?

A. My husband Eddie Seneviratne is a manager of a company in Galle. We have two daughters and they are Dulanjalee and Anjalee Seneviratne. They are both US qualified graduate teachers and they helping me in the Rainbow World Education Centre. I dedicate my time from 8am to 12 noon to the school. Children arrive from 7am onwards and I am on hand to greet them. I am with them from the time they arrive till they leave my care. With my daughters being involved in the school it has become a family effort and we have perfect coordination in running this place. I also have the school at my premises which gives me the advantage of being been on hand at any time.

Q. What motivated you to venture into business on your own?

A. In my legal carrier the bulk was case adoption, this showed me the requirement there was for early childhood development.

I then followed a course in early childhood development at the American College of Higher Education in Kandy. When we went to USA for the graduation I further prepared myself by following a Optional Practical Training’ at Wayne College, Nebraska USA. This further strengthened my state and resolved to open the training centre.

Q. What are your goals?

A. To develop the child to be a capable and attentive individual. Who will be both capable of quickly adopting to change of skills and environment. I also hope to develop this centre to be on par with similar US centres.

Q. How do you face the challenges of competition?

A. Though there are hundred of pre schools in Kandy my education is different. This alone makes the question of competition irrelevant. Also I cater to a niche market.


Some of the students at Rainbow World

Asandhi with her family

Q. What example do you provide to others?

A. Acquiring new skills and being abreast of the latest techniques is the way to carry out any business. Especially in child hood development there is is a lot of new things to be learnt and other educator should also upgrade their skills and knowledge. Thus give a better service to ones clients.

Q. What is your specialty?

A. Catering to an individual child’s needs. Identifying skill and plan accordingly. Creating an effective environment to enhance learning. Training to increase recollection. To provide opportunities to observer accepted norms and appreciate culture. This is all about diversity.

To develop environmentally friendly attitudes, and actively participate in conversations.

To be able to adopt and accept change to develop the skills required to face challenges with self confidence.

Q. What are your achievements in business?

A. We have so far not received any negative reports. In today’s context this is an achievement all by itself.

We are committed to teach children and we believe that each child is precious. If love and proper direction is given in early life it will pay dividends by producing good citizens worthy of any society. As responsible elders we should help children to become both responsible and healthy in their behavior.

We aim at giving comprehensive learning encompassing the seven domains of child education. Rainbow World Early Childhood Education Centre is dedicated to this end.

Q. What is your message to society?

A. The importance of proper childhood development is what stands between making an ordinary person into a worthy citizen. Every educator’s goal should be to work towards this, as it is the ultimate reward to mankind. (SJ)

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