Dr. Sriyani Miththapala Ph.D. Principal 1998-2003
In 1998, Dr Sriyani Miththapala was appointed to succeed Mrs. Gunawardana. Having been a former head prefect of the school, Dr. Miththapala‘s roots were at Ladies’ College, and she committed herself to ingrain and imbue the traditions and values of the school in every student who passed through its portals.
In the year 2000, Ladies’ College celebrated its Centenary year with many activities such as lectures, seminars, matches, etc. through the year which were culminated in the week of Anniversary celebrations. “One factor highlighted in these accounts was the meticulous organization evident in the various activities that took place within one week.”
The entire school was at the General Assembly held in the back garden, with bands playing and the school flag carried by the head prefect. Felicitations and presentations were made to long-serving members of the staff, with a special award for Mrs. Gunawardana for a “lifetime of service”. A cake large enough to serve the entire school was donated by a parent. Mrs. Gunawardana’s photograph was unveiled in the school Hall and a centenary stamp was issued.
The Old Girls’ Association dinner and the centenary banquet hosted by the school for special invitees were the more formal events that were held.
During this period, the country was in the process of education reform. The main focus of the reforms was a paradigm shift from Teacher-Centred Education to Child-Centred Education. Dr. Miththapala committed herself wholeheartedly to this end. “Hands-on learning” was encouraged particularly in the Primary School. Projects such as “Animated waxworks”, “UN Day” and “Rumble in the Jungle” were the highlights of her tenure. An interesting production of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” under the Twin Trees in the Back Garden was a very original idea, appreciated by all. Thus her vision incorporated her beliefs that “learning must be experimental, each child must be recognized as unique, learning must be integrated and must be an enjoyable process for the child”.
In 2001, when the Education Ministry gave its approval to teach some subjects in English, Dr. Miththapala’s administration successfully adopted the policy despite logistical difficulties. She resigned in 2003 due to ill health.