Shanika Sudarshanage – Profile

Shanika Sudarshanage – Profile

Twenty-year-old Miss Shanika Sudarshanage was an alumna of Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura. She is the elder in a family of two girls. Her father is a retired army officer and her mother is a teacher. Shanika’s parents are well educated and very supportive of her higher education, she gained many opportunities since she was a child.

When young Shanika (then fourteen years old) was selected by Horizon Lanka Foundation to represent Sri Lanka at the “World Toilet Day” Festival organized by Sulabh International in New Delhi, India in 2014, her parents were confident enough that Shanika could take up the challenge, even though it was her first trip overseas. She was accompanied by a female teacher from Horizon Academy – Anuradhapura. Shanika not only did her part at this event very well, but also won the second place of the online competition held by the organizers at this event and was gifted a brand new laptop computer and a cash price of over 100,000 INR. 

Shanika had the opportunity of meeting Mr Sudarshana Senavirathne, the then Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India. She sacrificed a visit to the “Taj Mahal” in Agra to meet with the High Commissioner as she was intrigued meeting high profile people even at that age. (You will realize why. when you read this article to the end). She obtained the maximum exposure & benefits of the tour and it was a wonderful opportunity to enhance Shanika’s life. Shanika made many a friend from South Asian countries during the event, with whom she is still in touch.  

Shanika Sudarshanage

With the experience that Shanika had from the Indian tour, and also with her fondness for India, she chose the Hindi language as a subject for her GCE Ordinary Level examination and obtained an ‘A’ for Hindi. Moreover, she did her Advanced level in the Arts Stream and obtained a ‘B’ for Logic and a ‘C’ for English and French languages, which is very creditable.

Shanika also took part in many extracurricular activities while at school, was a Sergeant of the schools National Cadet Corps, excelled in sports such as Netball, Handball and Chess. 

Shanika also taught English Literature for three months in one of the well-known private schools in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, with her keen interest in languages and foreign relations, she is currently pursuing a six-month course in International Relations along with a Chinese language course, until she gets into the university. She has already been selected to the university. (Getting the entrance to a university in Sri Lanka is extremely difficult as it is very competitive.)

Any idea as to why Shanika took the French language as a subject? Well, she states that she wishes to be a career diplomat and eventually become the Secretary-General of the United Nations someday. Horizon Lanka Foundation is happy to assist her further education and professional development as well. The rest, we believe, is up to her. (Watch the video below to hear it from her own voice.)

Edutainment and Infotainment – New Frontiers in Education in Sri Lanka

Edutainment and Infotainment – New Frontiers in Education in Sri Lanka
Ralapanawa Students

THE MONTHLY LECTURE AT THE FORUM OF THE LEARNED

AT 09:30 AM ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 2020

AT ECUMENICAL INSTITUTE OF STUDY AND DIALOGUE

490/5, Havelock Road, Colombo 06Telephone 011 2581289

“EDUTAINMENT AND INFOTAINMENT – NEW FRONTIERS IN EDUCATION IN SRI LANKA”

Nanda Wanninayaka

Nanda Wanninayaka

An Educator with Over 20 Years of ExperienceThe Founder & the Chairman of the Horizon Lanka Foundation

Organized and Conducted by Sanskruthi Sadashraya

32/1 A, Srawastthi Premises, Colombo 07 – Telephone 011 2677488

Education in State School System

  1. Traditional classroom based education
  2. Less interesting more listening and notetaking
  3. Teacher centric
  4. Less participation of students

Private Tuition Industry

  1. Tight schedules
  2. Almost no participation of the students
  3. Exam oriented
  4. Market driven

Edutainment & Infotainment

  1. Using real situations for language education
  2. Using entertainment throughout the lesson
  3. Using information and communication to their best
  4. Creative and novel ways
  5. Group work
  6. Presentations
  7. Public speaking
  8. Interning, filed trips, workshops, conferences
  9. Using technology as much as possible
  10. Using media to an optimum level
  11. Using local & foreign volunteer teachers
  12. Overseas experiences
  13. Goals oriented
  14. Higher education, arts, sports & technical fields, entrepreneurship
  15. Thakshila – Disapamok – Rome – Mentor way of teaching in practical ways

ප්‍රබෝධාත්මක අධ්‍යාපනය සහ ආශ්වාදජනක තොරතුරු සන්නිවේදනය තුළින් ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අධ්‍යාපනයේ නව මානයන් කරා යාම

Ralapanawa Students

සංස්කෘතිමාසික විද්වත් දේශනය

2020 ජනවාරි 25වන සෙනසුරාදා පෙරවරු 9.30 කොළඹ 6, හැව්ලොක් පාර 490/5, සාමයික ආයතනයේදී (011 2581289)

ප්‍රබෝධාත්මක අධ්‍යාපනය සහ ආශ්වාදජනක තොරතුරු සන්නිවේදනය තුළින් ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අධ්‍යාපනයේ නව මානයන් කරා යාම

නන්ද වන්නිනායක

නන්ද වන්නිනායක

අවුරුදු 20කට වඩා පළපුරුදු අධ්‍යාපනඥයකු  සහ  හොරයිසන් ලංකා පදනමේ නිර්මාතෘ / සභාපති

සංවිධානය සහ මෙහෙයවීමසංස්කෘති සදාශ්‍රය32/1 A, ශ්‍රාවස්ති පරිශ්‍රය, කොළඹ 07. 011 2677488

රජයේ පාසල්වල අධ්‍යාපන ක්‍රමවේදය

  1. සාම්ප්‍රදායක පන්තිකාමරය මූලික කරගත් අධ්‍යාපනය
  2. සිසුන්ට නීරස ලෙස දීර්ඝ වේලාවක් ඇහුම්කන්දීමට සහ සටහන් ලියාගැනීමට සිදුවීම
  3. ගුරු කේන්ද්‍රීය අධ්‍යාපනය
  4. පාඩම්වලට සිසු සිසුවියන්ගේ අවම ක්‍රියාකාරී සහභාගීත්වය

පුද්ගලික උපකාරක පන්ති කර්මාන්තය

  1. සිසු සිසුවියන්ට දැඩි පීඩාකාරී කාල සටහන්
  2. සිසු සිසුවියන්ගේ අවම සහභාගීත්වය සහ ගුරුවරයාගේ අසීමිත කාර්‍යභාරය
  3. විභාග අරමුණුකරගත් අධ්‍යාපනය
  4. වෙළඳපොල  බලවේග මත රඳා පවතින අධ්‍යාපනය

හොරයිසන් ලංකා ආයතනෙයේ හොරයිසන් අකැඩමි අධ්‍යාපන ආයතන සමූහයේ ප්‍රබෝධාත්මක අධ්‍යාපනය සහ ආශ්වාදජනක තොරතුරු සන්නිවේදනය තුළින් අධ්‍යාපනය

  1. ඉංග්‍රීසි භාෂා අධ්‍යාපනය සඳහා සත්‍ය පරිසර තත්වයන් නිර්මාණය කිරීම
  2. පාඩම පුරාම ආශ්වාදජනක අධ්‍යාපනයක් ලබාදීම
  3. තොරතුරු සහ සන්නිවේදන තාක්ෂණය උපරිමයෙන් භාවිතා කිරීම
  4. නිර්මාණශීලී සහ නවමු අධ්‍යාපන ක්‍රම භාවිතය
  5. කණ්ඩායම් ක්‍රියාකාරකම්
  6. සිසු සිසුවියන් ඉදිරිපත් කිරීම්වලට හුරු කිරීම
  7. විශාල පිරිස් ඉදිරියේ නැටුම්, ගැයුම්, වාදනය සහ කථා පැවැත්වීමට හුරු කිරීම මගින් ඔවුනගේ ආත්ම ශක්තිය වර්ධනය කිරීම
  8. ක්ෂේත්‍ර චාරිකා, වැඩමුළු, සම්මන්ත්‍රණ සහ සමුළුවලට සිසු සිසුවියන් සහභාගී කරවීම
  9. හැකි සෑම විටම තාක්ෂණය උපරිමයෙන් භාවිතා කිරීම
  10. ප්‍රශස්ත ලෙස ජනමාධ්‍ය භාවිතා කිරීම
  11. දේශීය සහ විදේශීය ස්වේච්ඡා ගුරුවරු සහ ගුරුවරියන් භාවිතා කිරීම
  12. සිසු සිසුවියන්ට විදේශීය රටවල සංචාරය කිරීමෙ අවස්තා ලබාදීම
  13. අරමුණුවලට ලඟාවීමට අවස්තාවන් ලබාදීම
  14. උසස් අධ්‍යාපනයට, කලා, ක්‍රීඩා, කාර්මික සහ ව්‍යවසායකත්වයට යොමු කිරීම
  15. තක්ෂිලාවේ දිසාපාමොක් සහ රෝමයේ මෙන්ටෝ (mentor) පන්නයේ පූර්ණ අධ්‍යාපනයක් ලබාදීම

L’effet Libellule Project Holds a Workshop in Horizon Academy – Panama, Sri Lanka – French

L’effet Libellule Project Holds a Workshop in Horizon Academy – Panama, Sri Lanka – French

Ms. Camille Bertrand, Co-Founder of L’effet Libellule, France held a workshop on environmental studies at the Horizon Academy – Panama in Ampara district, Sri Lanka. The workshop was held on September 7, 8 in 2019. Around 15 kids between the ages of 8 to 12 participated in the workshop. Mr. Priyantha Pushpakumara, the Coordinator of Horizon Academy – Panama coordinated the event while Sohan Fernando, an intern of Horizon Lanka Foundation did the interpreting. We thank L’effet Libellule for holding the workshop with us.

To read the report by Camille Bertrand in French visit https://www.effetlibellule.org/fr/le-projet/les-classes/779-sri-lanka-ecole-panama

Sohan Fernando, the interpreter working with the kids

Pictures taken during the workshop

L’effet Libellule Project Holds a Workshop in Horizon Academy – Panama, Sri Lanka – English

L’effet Libellule Project Holds a Workshop in Horizon Academy – Panama, Sri Lanka – English

Ms. Camille Bertrand, Co-Founder of L’effet Libellule, France held a workshop on environmental studies at the Horizon Academy – Panama in Ampara district, Sri Lanka. The workshop was held on September 7, 8 in 2019. Around 15 kids between the ages of 8 to 12 participated in the workshop. Mr. Priyantha Pushpakumara, the Coordinator of Horizon Academy – Panama coordinated the event while Sohan Fernando, an intern of Horizon Lanka Foundation did the interpreting. We thank L’effet Libellule for holding the workshop with us.

To read the report by Camille Bertrand in English visit https://www.effetlibellule.org/en/project/the-classes/780-sri-lanka-ecole-panama

Sohan Fernando, the interpreter working with the kids

A New English Teacher for Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Jaffna

A New English Teacher for Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Jaffna

Horizon Lanka Foundation was looking for a young woman to teach English in its Horizon Academy branch in Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Jaffna. Kids here were very lucky when we were able to find Miss Anne Mariyathas, a 19-year-old girl who is sitting for London Advanced Level this year. She attends an international school in Jaffna. When asked if she has enough time to dedicate herself for teaching English while she is getting ready for the exam, a very confident Anne said, “Don’t worry. I am confident enough to face the AL exam while teaching. I already do it at home with the kids live around my home. Teaching English gives me more happiness and peace of mind to do my studies too.”

Anne teaching the kids at Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam

So, we hired Anne from the first week of January 2020. Now she teaches two hours of English on Tuesdays and Thursdays during weekdays and 8 hours on Saturdays. She says she can do some extra hours of teaching during public school vacations.

Anne has a very good command of English. And she comes well-organized for the lessons. Kids also like her very much. She also says if she can use more technology (like a laptop and a multimedia projector,) she can teach even better.

Kids happily learning English from Miss Anne

Daniel Burger Moya – Spain

Daniel Burger Moya – Spain

Mr. Daniel Burger Moya from Spain volunteered at Horizon Academy – Werapitiya, Kandy operated by Horizon Lanka Foundation in August 2019

We volunteered about 2 weeks, from 16th August 2019 till the 2nd of September 2019, in a town near Kandy with an amazing host family teaching the kids near the town some English and some other practical skills.

About the town, it is near Werapitiya, Kandy. It’s an amazing place, so much nature and so much to visit there. The host family took us with their tuk tuk to waterfalls, rivers, mountains and everything surrounded by tea plantations. It’s a truly magical place.

The host family was also incredible; their warm welcome was really something. They cooked for us very different and delicious food, I think we gain 10 kilos in our 2 weeks there. They gave us a really nice room, always were on handy to make a trip with us, talk, play some card games at night, explain to us their culture, etc. It was wonderful.

The Horizon Academy was sadly closed, and nobody warned us about this, I think this was the main problem. Vajira organized our host family and our stay. He is a tour guide and knew a lot about Sri Lanka, spoke also Spanish, however, we just saw him once in 2 weeks. Sadly, the local school was closed at the time we arrived. Actually, Vajira knew very little about the school and the town, so the organization could be done better. With this problem, the family (and not Vajira) organized some teaching in their home or in the Buddhist temple with the kids, from 5 to 22 years old, from the town, but some days we didn’t know what to do. Because of the age difference and without any guidelines, it wasn’t quite easy to teach them. Despite this inconvenience, the kids really want to learn anything and are very curious about different cultures, so it was fun and enjoyable to teach/play with them.

After this time together, we had to say goodbye to all these great people, we traveled for two weeks in Sri Lanka. This was an amazing experience. Sri Lanka is a very beautiful country and, as said before, people are very kind and helpful. We can enjoy cultural and historical places, like mountains with tea plantations with nice landscapes and good hiking, as beautiful beaches to relax and swim!

To conclude, we would like to say we really recommend this experience, the people of Sri Lanka are really kind and the country has so much different nature and culture. Our volunteering experience was great, despite the school problem, the experience was great and we are really thankful.

Explanation from Nanda Wanninayaka, the Chairman of Horizon Lanka Foundation.

Dear Dan and Paula,

I read your very interesting report. I am glad that you had mentioned both positive and negative remarks. I apologize for the negative aspects. In fact, it was my fault than Vajira’s. I was expected to visit the village and make the right connections with the public schools, Sunday schools in temples, etc. But I fell ill a couple of times last year and this prevented me from doing so. I have not visited this village at least once as of yet. So, I will visit this village next week with Vajira and then meet the students, school principals, teachers, villagers, etc. and then explain what we do through Horizon Academy.

Yes, it was the public school vacation while you were in Werapitiya but usually, in other Horizon Academies, more students come to us during vacations. If I visited the village earlier, I could have easily arranged that.

Nanda Wanninayaka

Paula Sánchez and Daniel Burger

Daniel and Paula with the host family
Daniel and Paula with the children of the host family

Sashini Premarathna – Profile

Sashini Premarathna – Profile

Fourteen-year-old Sashini Premarathna is a young girl who grew up in the rural village of Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura.  She is the eldest child of a family of two children, which means she has many responsibilities on her shoulders. Her mother works as a laborer in a nearby shop and is the only breadwinner of the family. Still, she is determined to educate her son and daughter.

Sashini is in Grade 9 at the Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya which is a supplementary educational institute.  Here she studies English, ICT, fine arts and sports. She attends Gamini Public School as her regular school. Sashini is the first at every term test in her class and keeps maintaining her standards however much the obstacles would try to pull her down.

Sashini is very good at singing and dancing. Her dancing team from her public school won first place in the Anuradhapura Zonal dancing completion and won second place from the district level. She hopes to become a dance teacher in the future.

Sashini in her garden

Paula Sánchez González – Spain

Paula Sánchez González – Spain

Ms. Paula Sánchez González from Spain volunteered at Horizon Academy – Werapitiya, Kandy operated by Horizon Lanka Foundation in August 2019.

We volunteered about 2 weeks, from 16th August 2019 till the 2nd of September 2019, in a town near Kandy with an amazing host family teaching the kids near the town some English and some other practical skills.

About the town, it is near Werapitiya, Kandy. It’s an amazing place, so much nature and so much to visit there. The host family took us with their tuk tuk to waterfalls, rivers, mountains and everything surrounded by tea plantations. It’s a truly magical place.

The host family was also incredible; their warm welcome was really something. They cooked for us very different and delicious food, I think we gain 10 kilos in our 2 weeks there. They gave us a really nice room, always were on handy to make a trip with us, talk, play some card games at night, explain to us their culture, etc. It was wonderful.

The Horizon Academy was sadly closed, and nobody warned us about this, I think this was the main problem. Vajira organized our host family and our stay. He is a tour guide and knew a lot about Sri Lanka, spoke also Spanish, however, we just saw him once in 2 weeks. Sadly, the local school was closed at the time we arrived. Actually, Vajira knew very little about the school and the town, so the organization could be done better. With this problem, the family (and not Vajira) organized some teaching in their home or in the Buddhist temple with the kids, from 5 to 22 years old, from the town, but some days we didn’t know what to do. Because of the age difference and without any guidelines, it wasn’t quite easy to teach them. Despite this inconvenience, the kids really want to learn anything and are very curious about different cultures, so it was fun and enjoyable to teach/play with them.

After this time together, we had to say goodbye to all these great people, we traveled for two weeks in Sri Lanka. This was an amazing experience. Sri Lanka is a very beautiful country and, as said before, people are very kind and helpful. We can enjoy cultural and historical places, like mountains with tea plantations with nice landscapes and good hiking, as beautiful beaches to relax and swim!

To conclude, we would like to say we really recommend this experience, the people of Sri Lanka are really kind and the country has so much different nature and culture. Our volunteering experience was great, despite the school problem, the experience was great and we are really thankful.

Paula Sánchez and Daniel Burger

Paula Sánchez teaching the students of Horizon Academy – Werapitiya, Kandy

Explanation from Nanda Wanninayaka, the Chairman of Horizon Lanka Foundation.

Dear Dan and Paula,

I read your very interesting report. I am glad that you had mentioned both positive and negative remarks. I apologize for the negative aspects. In fact, it was my fault than Vajira’s. I was expected to visit the village and make the right connections with the public schools, Sunday schools in temples, etc. But I fell ill a couple of times last year and this prevented me from doing so. I have not visited this village at least once as of yet. So, I will visit this village next week with Vajira and then meet the students, school principals, teachers, villagers, etc. and then explain what we do through Horizon Academy.

Yes, it was the public school vacation while you were in Werapitiya but usually, in other Horizon Academies, more students come to us during vacations. If I visited the village earlier, I could have easily arranged that.

Nanda Wanninayaka

Paula and Daniel with the host family

ICT Teaching Starts at Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna

ICT Teaching Starts at Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam, Jaffna

Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam was ceremonially opened on May 20, 2018. Since then, many foreign volunteers taught English to the children here. What it was lacking was the ICT education.

When three female students, Nimanditha Disanayaka, Prabodha Kalotuwawa, and Pramodhya Gunarathna from Horizon Academy – Mahawilachchiya came for the Opening Ceremony of the Maniyanthoddam branch of the Horizon Academy, they immediately became the best of friends of the kids in here and felt very sorry to see that the kids here did not have computers. So, they proposed that the 5 Dialog WinPad computers donated to the Horizon Lanka Foundation by the Country Music Foundation some time ago be sent to the kids here for them to learn computers.

But then came the problem of repairing the WinPad tabs. Since all 5 of them needed some repair work, it cost somewhere around a total of 10,000 LKR. So, they were at the repairers for more than a year. But when this was disclosed over the social media of the Horizon Lanka Foundation, within less than 10 minutes, two generous donors from the United States of America, Mr. Lalith (Asela) Ratnayake and Mr. Buddika Gajapala, both Sri Lankan Americans donated 100 USD and 60 USD respectively to the Foundation. The money was sufficient for repairing all 5 tabs and also repair some more PCs of the Foundation that need to be repaired.

Kids using repaired laptops

Mr. Leo Wishmasinha, a Sri Lankan working in Hong Kong committed to pay a salary for the Foundation to hire an IT teacher for six months starting from January 2020. We hired a young IT instructor, Mr. Suntharalingam Rameskanth from January 2020. So, Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam started teaching ICT from Sunday, 05, 2020. Thanks to all three of you for chipping in this new venture for the kids in and around Maniyanthoddam, Nallur, Jaffna. These kids are very lucky to get these facilities for them. You can see their happiness from the pictures on this page.

Mr. Suntharalingam Rameskanth teaching ICT to the children at Horizon Academy – Maniyanthoddam