School by the Sea gets a new Pilot
The Thomian chapel
|Left Wing of
the Assembly Hall
Professor Indra De Soysa
Walking through S. Thomas' College Mount Lavinia, one cannot fail to
recognize the magnificent environs : the beautiful greenery, a splendid
chapel and buildings that are strong as ever, having stood for more than
150 years. Recently saw the inauguration of the new Warden of S.Thomas'
College Mount Lavinia : Professor Indra De Soysa who is the 18th Warden
of S. Thomas' College Mount Lavinia.
Professor De Soysa, who arrived in Sri Lanka, three weeks ago has an
illustrious academic position. An academic for the last twenty years
after finishing his ph.d.
He went to work as a researcher at the Peace Research institute at
Oslo. And then he received a faculty position in the University of Bonn
Germany, and subsequently to the Norwegian university of Science and
Technology and that is where he has been for the last 10 years or so.
Asked what changes he plans to implement after taking up duties,
Professor De Soysa said that there are systems in place that have stood
the test of time, but there is some tinkering necessary in some areas
basically to utilize things a little bit better than has been happening
up to now and putting together some other policy changes that could lead
to some gradual changes
"But if I may point at something in these gradual changes, it is
bringing up the general standard of English language, both on campus and
as well as in terms of the grades and results that students get at
national exams. But in general the level of English must improve,
because that is where historically a school like S.Thomas' College has
been a pioneer. So we need to come back to that, something that has been
lost over the years because of national policies and other things, this
is something we can put some energy into," said Professor De Soysa.
He also commented that discipline has gotten better since his time.
In terms of students coming to school, and at least being in class, so
these types of disciplinary issues are now solved by technical means
basically by having security and other types of strict attendance
Besides that the size of the students body has increased, so there
are problems that come with that.
De Soysa also mentioned that the school is more crowded than when he
was at S.T. C. and he conceded that this would be a problem that he
would have to solve in the future - the lack of class room space.
"The finger printing system is being piloted at the moment with the
teachers and this will be phased in for all students in the future. The
new technology is there to increase efficiency but also makes life
easier for students and teachers. Sheer number of students have also
increased which means there is a much bigger burden on the teachers. "If
we can use modern technology to decrease that burden, but also use it as
a way in which we evaluate our students objectively in the future. For
example proper attendance records, giving boys points for being on time,
these are ways which we can evaluate in the future."
He also added that there is another part to education which is the
social achievements and the ability of the individual These social
achievements can be everything from how one thinks of oneself, the
personal confidence of an individual when he leaves S.Thomas' into the
big bad world. So according to De Soysa the quality of education at
Thomas' college is pretty good.
"I am extremely honored and proud to be the Warden, it is kind of
hard to imagine. When I left school 25 years ago, I never thought I
would be coming back as the Warden.
It is very humbling to know how many people have supported me and
encouraged me and extended their welcome. So the first thing i would
like to say is that I look upon this, as a sacred duty to do my best and
give back to my school" elaborated De Soysa.