Imagine, dream and believe! | Daily News

Imagine, dream and believe!

President’s College Kotte:
Dushen Thilaksha.  Picture by Sarath Peiris
Dushen Thilaksha. Picture by Sarath Peiris

The dreams of over 3000 students rest in the hands of Head Boy of President’s College Kotte Dushen Thilaksha and his fellow prefects. Perfect Prefects features Thilaksha, a man who takes his responsibilities very seriously because it is key to everything.

The little ones in any school are especially at an age where they can be easily influenced. They can be influenced by something they see on television or at the movies or even by a book they read. This is exactly why there is a head prefect. This is so they have some guidance in life which can be a confusing time for a little boy or an adolescent. The little ones automatically develop qualities that they see in their seniors.

Amid juniors and seniors

“There is a student population of 3500 in this school and all eyes are on the Head Prefect. Great expectation is placed on the young man who holds this post. The example he sets will be followed by all juniors and seniors. He will have an influence on the kinds of dreams they have and goals they will want to achieve. His deeds need to stand out more than his words. Because the little ones especially will imitate his behaviour, because he is like an older brother. Who else do they have to look to, if not the young man who holds such a position of privilege?” said Thilaksha

As Head Prefect he may need to mediate between two parties having a quarrel, or he may have to help a student going through a difficult time in adolescence. The reason why a prefect body is there is twofold – maintain disciple and maintain lines of communication between the students and themselves.

“As a Prefect, I feel one must be straightforward and frank when dealing with others. He must be willing to take on responsibilities given to him by his school without shying away. He needs to be able to confidently face any challenges. He needs to have a positive mindset and perform his duties with maximum efficiency. I have achieved my dream of becoming a head prefect.

A prefect when encountering a challenge or difficulty in his path, he needs to properly identify the nature of this problem. Things are not what they always seem to be.

If it is a student-related problem involving a student asking him for help, then he should talk to an adult if it is necessary,” stated Thilaksha.

Personality and charisma

Thilaksha pointed out that school life must not be limited to the books in the classroom. The school needs to develop that child’s personality and his charisma. The school teaches one how to respect others.

“My school has given me a lot. I feel I stand out in a crowd when at school because I am a Prefect. The students look up to us. A Prefect at Presidents College is one who excels in all activities like studies and sports. In addition to studies and sports, he has his Prefect duties. He must balance all three – studies, sports and duties and he should do it willingly, with enthusiasm and keenness. The way he balances these three will finally determine if he becomes the Head Prefect,” explains Thilaksha.

Thilaksha feels that Nelson Mandela is a man to be admired, being the first black African President in South Africa. He did this because of his determination says Thilaksha.

“He was jailed and faced such suffering behind bars. He is one reason why Apartheid was defeated because of his strength and wisdom. And he was victorious and triumphed. He took on this responsibility even most would not. And he did it because he had compassion,” pointed out Thilaksha.

Sustainable policy

He feels that poverty is a problem in many parts of the world. How the money circulates is the issue here. For example, do you give money to an office colleague who may spend it on entertainment or do you give it to the beggar on the road who is starving? However, it needs to be sustainable. And that is providing regular jobs.

“In order to help the poor, you need to be fairly well to do yourself. You need to be willing and passionate about this. Also, you need to be a good leader. If you are fairly well off and have good leadership qualities then maybe it would be possible for you and others like you to help these people. A normal person would find it difficult to do this. Unemployment is a burden on the country and its economy,” added Thilaksha.

Racism is something that needs to be eradicated in society. In many schools in the country, there is a mix of children from different backgrounds and religions.

“I have friends from so many different backgrounds in my school. We live in harmony and we trust and respect each other. If we become selfish that is when things start to turn bitter. After all, we are all Sri Lankans born in this country. We are all Sri Lankans,” said Thilaksha.

Thilaksha’s message to anyone is when accepting a job give it a good thought, because once you accept the responsibility then you need to see things through. Once you make a promise, then you need to fulfil it. Do not neglect your studies because your studies are the reason why you became a Head Prefect. A Head Prefect is someone who balances everything perfectly – studies, sports and duties and excels in them.

Resolving problems

“He must be educated and he must be able to handle responsibilities with courage and he needs to be forthright. He needs to be a master strategist resolving problems. Some people break under pressure and some people thrive under pressure. Also, it would help if he tries to understand what brings about this pressure. Then we need to identify how to put an end to it. Also talking to someone you trust can help,” explained Thilaksha.

Thilaksha points out that if a leader works for his people he will be recognized and rewarded by society.

“He does not have to go around advertising himself. They will know him by his deeds. He needs to have worked for his community and then people will believe and trust in him,” said Thilaksha

“I want to think my father and mother and my younger brother, for everything they have done for me. They have all been there for me because this post needs a lot of support. I want to also thank my Principal U D D G Ariyarathna and teachers in charge Shirani Asoka, Rasika Kandamulla, Tanya Lankatilaka and Venerable Denagama Sudhamma Thera,” said Thilaksha.



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