Southlands glows as a prominent girl’s school
Southlands College is a foremost girl’s school in Southern Sri Lanka, situated within the historical Galle Fort. It was founded during the British rule in 1885. Today Southlands’ has become a centre for knowledge not only in the South but also to the whole nation. Many enthusiastic Methodist missionary principals and local principals have rendered their valuable service during a period of 127 years to make Southlands one of the most excellent girls’ schools in Sri Lanka.
The school was established in 1885 by the Methodist Missionary with the intention of encouraging English education in Southern Sri Lanka. In the beginning, it was known as Girls High School, Galle. From its inception, the school was under the management of the Methodist Mission up to 1962. Miss. Lucy Vanderstraaten was the first Principal. At the beginning it was named “Wesleyan Girls School”.
The school motto interweaves together with Love and Service was illustrated on the School Logo in simple English and Sinhala which was unusual for an English Medium school during the colonial period. Special emphasis was given to teach Sinhala and Sinhala Literature. A Sinhala stage drama was a special feature in the programme of ‘Southlands Week’ held annually where all main school events are celebrated within one week. Being missionaries, they never had any religious discrimination.
The Girl Guide Company was initiated in 1917 and Southlanders are fortunate to be the first Girl Guide Company in the Galle District.
The period of 1960-1962 is considered the most significant in the history of Southlands as it was declared as a Government school and the last Principal under the missionary management retired from service in 1962. All missionary principals have done yeoman service to put a sturdy foundation to the school to cherish Southlands as an admired school in Southern Sri Lanka during the 20th Century.
Today Southlands College being a National School houses a large number of students with over 4,000 students and consists of a tutorial staff of 175 teachers. The incumbent Principal of Southlands College Mrs. Shanthi Senavirathne who was appointed as Brevet Colonel of the Sri Lanka National Cadet Corp (NCC) in October 2012 is the mainstay to the present progress of the college.
Excellence in studies and many extracurricular activities elevated the institution to a prestigious position in the field of education. Southlands has produced distinguished and renowned personalities to the nation and some of them have been honoured as pioneers of various professional fields of expertise.
The students of Southlands College stand out in the public examinations with excellent results. They sustain unrivaled academic records at G.C.E.(O/L) and G.C.E.(A/L) examinations. G.C.E. (O/L) section is one of the successful units which produces extraordinary achievements. In 2010 H. K. Kavindi Hansika and S. M. Udari Jayamali De Silva took All Island 4th and 7th positions.
Since 2000, Southlanders have taken Island ranks in their G.C.E.(A/L) examination as well. Nadeesh Patabedige was the brilliant
student of the Arts stream who brought the island 1st rank in 2000. This was followed by R. A. Wasana Sewwandi (Science stream) with island 2nd rank in 2010 and H. L. Chamindri Umesha (Arts stream) with island first rank in 2011. Ishara Prabashini Madarasinghe, M. V. Ishani Tharangi, Asanka Edirisinghe are the other achievers who obtained the district 1st ranks since 2004.
Extra and Co–Curricular activities play a key role in a school. Sithumi Samarasinghe of Southlands College who represented Sri Lanka under 7 team brought honours to the country and the school by winning the Country Medal-Silver at the 7th Asian School Chess Championship held in New Delhi from December 16 to 23, 2011.
Southlands College won the Championship of under 15 All Island “A” division Badminton Doubles Tournament in 2012 and Anurangi Masakorala (under 11) emerged singles champion in the same event in 2011.
Gihara Sachini Amarasingha is a great swimmer who obtained the Silver Medal at the 11th South Asian Games held in Bangladesh and she represented the Commonwealth Games held in India as well. Githmi Pabasara Rajasinghe too is a great swimmer from Southlands College who took 1st place at the All island championships. Kasuni Himaya Pitigala is a Table Tennis player of Southlands who bagged the silver medal in the Junior South Asian Games 2012 held in India and represented the Junior Asian Games 2012 held in China.
With all these achievements, today Southlands College shines as one of the foremost Girl’s schools in Southern Sri Lanka serving the field of education as well as sports very successfully during a span of 127 years. All Principals together with their capable teachers have put in an enormous effort and splendid services to educate the blooming buds of Southlanders and raising the school in the academic realm as well as in many extracurricular activities.
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