Beating Global Competition, Royal College selected Microsoft’s Pathfinder School
Source: Microsoft, Colombo

In an exciting development, the reputed Royal College of Sri Lanka has been selected a Global Pathfinder School in the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network. This is a landmark event in the history of education in the country as it demonstrates the competency of local schools to match counterparts abroad. This triumph is doubly significant because Royal College was selected from amongst schools across the world, by eminent global educationists hailing from leading educational institutions. By staking its place at the top, Royal College has also enhanced Sri Lanka’s educational legacy, putting it on the global education map.

In Sri Lanka, a local competition was organized by Microsoft Sri Lanka in coordination with the Ministry of Education to select the five most innovative schools in the country, in which Royal College participated and was selected along with four others. These schools submitted their applications to the Microsoft global body, which evaluated the participants based on academic success, innovation culture, leadership development, learning community, strategic development planning, and innovative use of ICT. By being appointed a Global Pathfinder School in the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network, Royal College will be assisted by Microsoft to uplift its standards by making available expert resources to help improve the school further by sharing its global best practices.

Leaders from more than 42 schools gathered in Salvador for a four-day workshop to kick off a journey of transformation in their school communities. Upali Gunasekera, the Principal of Royal College and Upul Nishantha, the school’s ICT Teacher, represented Royal College at the event. Over the next 12 months, these school leaders will go back to their home communities with a mission to transform the way their schools operate. They will be encouraged to rethink all aspects of school life, from the structure of the day, to the use of technology in the curriculum, to ensuring that teachers have the space and time to bring innovative practices to the classroom.

The Government of Sri Lanka has declared 2009 the ‘Year of English and Information Technology’ and has undertaken a series of activities aimed at expanding the reach of ICT amongst the youth. This Partners in Learning initiative of Microsoft is aligned to support the government’s vision to put Sri Lanka on the global IT map, whilst realizing its long-term objective of providing necessary skills amongst youth to meet both local and global demands. Microsoft is working in close partnership with the Ministry of Education in this endeavor.

Sriyan De Silva Wijeyeratne, Country Manager, Microsoft Sri Lanka, said: “We are so proud that one of the leading schools in our country, Royal College, has made it to the exclusive domain of Microsoft’s Global Pathfinder Schools. I am confident that they will gain a multitude of benefits from their participation and be able to share this wealth of knowledge with other local schools, so as to propel the level of education in Sri Lanka to the next level. At Microsoft, we believe that technology can expand the power of education and unlock the potential of students, educators and schools. I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the support and encouragement this initiative has received from the Ministry of Education, whose vision to transform the education landscape of the country is commendable and which will serve to revolutionize the use of ICT in local curricula in due course.”


Microsoft puts Royal College among world’s most innovative schools!
source: The Sunday Times, Sunday 8th November 2009

Royal College, Colombo, has been selected by Microsoft Corporation as one of the world’s most innovative schools. The selections were made from hundreds of schools from different countries around the world.

Royal College is listed among 30 schools in the world with the best innovative practices. The schools were judged on academic success, culture of innovation, leadership, community learning, strategic planning and the innovative use of information and communications technologies.

“This is a great achievement for Royal,” Royal College principal Upali Gunasekere told the Sunday Times. “Technology is widespread in many of the countries in the best 30 schools category. In some of those countries, students even use laptops at school.”

Mr. Gunasekere was speaking from Brazil, where he is attending the fifth annual Worldwide Innovative Education Forum (IEF), organised by Microsoft Corporation. “For the past few years the school has been initiating a lot of innovative practices, most of them technology-related,” he said.

Mr. Gunasekere said Royal College and the 29 other schools have been asked to come up with more innovative practices over the next 12 months, and at the end of the period the schools’ performances will be evaluated.

“This is a continuing process,” Mr. Gunasekere said. “We have to keep up with our best practices. We are hoping that students, teachers, parents and old boys will all pitch in to help the school come up with more innovations.”

Royal College is now a Global Pathfinder School in the Microsoft Partners in Learning Network. The students will be able to connect with other schools around the world and share best practices.

Schools that were listed along with Royal were from Australia, Britain, Canada, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Singapore, Russia, the Philippines and several other European and Asian countries

Royal College - Microsoft.Royal College