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Old 04-08-20, 04:56 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Dr. Frank Jayasinghe.

Principal of principles turns 80
Demi Hewamanna

To everyone who knew him, he was one extraordinary person and still is. He has been an educationist for so long and yet he never gets bored of learning something new every day. Today he marks milestone in his life and that is celebrating 80 young years of knowledge, adventure, stories and so much more.

This gentleman is none other than internationally renowned educationist Dr. Frank Jayasinghe who has over a 50 year span of teaching principles that are known to all the schools in the country and also abroad. I am happy to have been a student in his very own school ? College of World Education ? which he began in 1996. And I am also happy to sit down today and get to know the Principal of Principles as he celebrates his 80th birthday with everyone who studied, worked and learned from him.

This all began after my Advance Levels, I taught for a short time at Wesley College and that gave me the love for teaching (not that I applied for other jobs and failing to teaching, it was straight away to teaching). I was also the Hostel Warden at the college. I did the degree applied for training and went for training while teaching at Wesley and did the BA for Arts Subject. One thing I noticed was when they had a difficulty in something they couldn?t go to anyone as for example in science and went to econ teacher and asked them with the teacher in turn telling them they don?t know anything on that subject. So I did a science degree?I wanted to be equipped basically with what is needed for teacher.

Then I was invited to go as head master of St Thomas Guruthalawa as it had problems. There were famous principals who started it like Dr. Hayman and Canon Foster who died there. It was an isolated place and there were riots amongst the boys with them setting fire to mattresses. So the Anglican Church wanted to me to go there and do something and I was like ?no, I am quite happy here? and they were like ?that?s the problem, go to a place that is not?. When I went there, it was so true, and after a couple of weeks thing were a little under control and I had to be very strict with them. And still today, when I meet the past students, who look older than me, come and tell me, ?Sir, do you remember the kane (slap) you gave me in school? ?Sir, Sir dakkama ape passath ridenewa (meeting you, we can still feel the stings in our bottom)?, but they are doing well and they say it is because of the caning.

After three years, the school was doing well. But at the same time, the St. Thomas Mount Lavinia was also going through trouble. So once again the board had approached him and asked him to join Mount and bring discipline to that school. And when he went, Rev Selveratnam (the warden) said that Frank, I'm a priest, I don't know how to run a school, so you run the school. First day there was hooting in the classes. Sometimes when I went home, my wife had to rub my shoulders as teachers were not caning and I had to do all that.

Then there was a request from Kodaikanal International School in India. They were all American principals and they wanted to change it to an International school but they didn?t want an American neither an Indian. So they got a list from various places. I had previously taught at international school in New York and they got my name from there. They asked me if I would like to come there (I didn't know about the school, and I wanted to know about it, so they paid my way twice for me to check out the school). From 50 applicants they selected me as Director of Development and Principal of the school in 1973 to develop and implement the project design which would set the tone and direction of the new school Robert H Carmen who is a Kodai Alumnus said this about Dr. Frank, ?Planning and then implementing the Project Design for the new school and leading it through its first decades as a multinational, plural-cultural, autonomous, Christian school is Frank?s legacy to Kodaikanal School.


Dr. Frank Jayasinghe. Pictures by Ranjith Asanka
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File Type: jpg z_p-22-Principal1.jpg (7.2 KB, 0 views)

Last edited by sriyanj; 04-08-20 at 04:59 PM.
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