Devi Balika Vidyalaya
Devi Balika Vidyalaya is a leading girls’ school in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Today girls are admitted at level of grade six, on the results of an island-wide scholarship examination.
By 1950 some of the recommendations of the Kannangara report had been implemented but many believed that the opportunities for educational equality were inadequate.
So the state took up the recommendation of the White Paper on education (1950), to trifurcate education at grade 8, when compulsory education ended. One of the three streams was the academic.
These, in keeping with this policy, Government Girls' College, Castle Street (currently known as Devi Balika Vidyalaya) was set up with classes from grade 9 to 12, catering to academically gifted girls.
The Department of Education further intended this new school to be a centre of excellence in science education, an area of knowledge for which there was great demand after World War II.
But not long after, it became clear that trifurcation of education was not the answer to our problems. But by then the vision for Devi as a school for academically gifted girls, specially strong in science, had taken hold.
In establishing this Government Girls' College, the guidance and support received from late Mr. T.D.Jayasuriya as the Director of Education was admirable.
This prestigious educational institution Government Girls' College was founded on the 15th January, 1953, at Castle Street, Borella, constructed with pre fabricated material, with 53 students and 5 teachers.
From the very beginning the importance of extra curricular activities was recognized though the emphasis was on academic pursuits.
Girl Guiding, dancing (Kandyan, Indian and country dancing), music, sports and drama were introduced at the inception itself where by the hidden talents of many a students were discovered and channeled towards personality building.
Mrs. Wimala de Silva (Late Deshabandu Dr. (Mrs.) Wimala de Silva) was its founder principal.
With the enthusiasm of a young and energetic staff and above all with the unstinting help of her husband - Dr. S.L. de Silva particularly in developing science teaching, she started this great voyage
More than half a century has elapsed. Sri Lanka has been gifted with thousands of patriotic, talented and skilled daughters dedicated to duty and service to their motherland, who brought fame to their school in return.
Thanks to the group of Past Pupils who struggled with determination facing all obstacles with courage, and overcoming all opposition, a HOSTEL FOR DEVI BALIKA VIDYALAYA[ became a reality in 1997.
The dream of having a SCHOOL MULTIPURPOSE AUDITORIUM became a reality on 5 March 1998 not because of a single person. This was a massive project undertaken in 1985 by the past pupils.
Several fund raising projects were held to swell the fund to match the grant given by the Ministry of Education.
In addition, financial contribution received from several other ministries, Pelpola Vipassi Foundation, various Institutions, parents, and past pupils was a major support in doing this task.
Engineering and Architectural consultancy and various services received from well-wishers free of charge made the 1st and 2nd stages of this great endeavor - School Multipurpose Auditorium Project a success.