The Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said teaching is the most valuable gift that can be given to children. He stated this while speaking on the occasion of upgrading Sri Siddhartha Junior College in Homagama as a school providing education up to G.C.E. Ordinary Level on 27.03.2023 and the launching of construction of the new multipurpose center in line with the 51st Commemoration of late Mr. Philip Gunawardena a National Hero.
Siddhartha Junior College was founded in the year 1905 by Mr. Don Jacolis Rupasingha Gunawardena, named after Boralugoda Ralahami, the grandfather of the Prime Minister.
In his speech the Prime Minister claimed that Mr. Philip Gunawardena as student of the first batch of this school was able to serve the entire country. My father, starting his education from this school became a national leader who served the international community as well, he said.
“This is our school. I would like to say that we are ready to give all the guidance that can be given nationally to this school. Our principal, teachers and parents should join together. Teaching children is the most valuable thing and there is nothing more valuable than that. It is true that our ancestors including our grandfather had large lands in Boralugoda. But he made his children educated locally as well as internationally. The children were shown the right way to be able to work for the country.
“We are proud that many such people were born from our province.
“Businessmen who are at the forefront of Sri Lanka’s business class are born in our village and neighboring villages and they serve the country. Therefore, we request you all once again that as parents you should be very responsible in teaching your children. From Boralugoda Siddhartha Junior College, we are determined to carry that message on to future generations.
“Salawa Estate is one of the biggest estates in our area. It is very important to give the opportunity to the children of the people who have been working in the Salawa Estate for more than hundred years to study in this school.
“It is believed that MP Yadamini Gunawardena’s enthusiastic support to the school’s various activities and discussions to deal with the school’s requests to develop computer and information technology facilities will enable the development of the school soon.
“Today is a very important day for us. Mr. Philip Gunawardena was born from this village and was able to become a national hero. He led us towards freedom and he did his part in the fight for freedom.
“I request the authorities to provide a school bus for our children in this school as the first school that made it possible for Mr. Philip Gunawardena to gain the honor of being involved in the public service measures of the country.
“These innocent children, parents, have to pay for a three-wheeler to reach the school. It is more difficult for children coming from far away. If we are able to provide that facility, children covering about five schools will be able to travel on the school bus. As the Prime Minister and Member of Parliament, this is only a request I make. It is a burning issue that villagers often talk about.
“All children and parents are requested to work hand in hand with the school to make good use of this gift given by the Western Provincial Council to the importance of education.”
Maha Sangha including Boralugoda Sri Vardanaramadhipathi Ven Sevelwala Gnanananda Thera graced the occasion while Western Province Governor Air Marshal Roshan Gunathilake, Yadamini Gunawardena MP, former Colombo Mayor Prasanna Gunawardena and old students of the college were among the participants at the occasion.