Wickramabahu Central College (National School) founded in 1946 is a Madhya Maha Vidyalaya (central college) located in Gampola in Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is a Buddhist school with around 90 teaching staff and around 1,500 students. It has been a mixed school for the past 64 years.
At present the school is an 1AB Super school with 36 buildings. Today the school has become the heart of the hill country with reputed number of old students in Sri Lanka as well as abroad.
With the introduction of Technology Subject Stream for A/L Classes in 250 schools in Sri Lanka, Wickramabahu Central College (National School) was upgraded to an 1AB Super school.
Under Education Ministry’s 1000 schools project, a Type 2 – Mahindodaya Technical Laboratory was granted to the school and it was ceremonially opened by Hon. Prime Minister D.M. Jayarathne on the 03rd June 2014. It consists of the following facilities:
- Information & Communication Technology Centre
- Language Lab
- Mathematics Lab
- Nenasa Distance Learning Centre
These labs are equipped with modern, sophisticated computers and multimedia equipment.
Other than those the Technical Faculty is in the last stage of its construction and will be opened for the benefit of the students in the near future.
Though the school catchment area was limited to Gampola area, At the beginning, with the wider range of objectives of the Central Schools, students from all the areas of Sri Lanka have attended the school for the past 64 years.
Now it is being supported under the “1000 Schools Project” under the Ministry of Education. The following schools are connected as the catchment schools for the Central College.
- K/ Wallahagoda K.V.
- K/ Gampolawela K.V.
- K/ Andrews College
- Gampola Muslim M.V.
- Jinaraja Girls’ College
- Gangasiripura K.V.
Because of the frame of the school students from different areas of the country throng towards it. Specialty students enroll at the school as scholarship holders and who are enthusiastic in sports. The parents who adore the concept of Central Colleges are major among the parents who send their children to the college at present.
Location and land
The school is situated in the Udapalatha Divisional Secretarial in Gampola town which is in the Kandy District. This school which is situated on the Nawalapitiya Road is about 1 km away from Gampola city (near Base Hospital, Gampola) and it is at the height of 437 meters above sea level.
The school is exactly located between Northern Latitude 7°9’14.9364″ and Eastern Longitude 80°33’49.9716″. From the Northern side of the school is the gracious mountain Ambuluwawa. On the Eastern side is the great river Mahaweli. The school premises which contain 13 acres (53,000 m2) is a fertile and a meritorious land.
The college is funded and directly administered by the Ministry of Education as it is a National School and a school under 1000 schools project. The Principal is the head of the school administration while the college is assisted by two Deputy Principals on administration and academic sections.
The college has three sections mainly and namely,
Grades 6 – 9
Grades 10 – 11
Grades 12 – 13 (Advanced Level)
Students are admitted to the college considering the marks obtained at the Grade 5 scholarship exam and from the enrollment examination conducted by the school itself.
There are about 1500 students studying in all the sections according to the present updates. More than 1250 of them are in the classes in Grades 6 – 11. Each of the grades has 4 classes. Advanced Level Section (Grades 12 – 13) is divided into four main sections as: Arts, Commerce, Science & Technology. Each section has 2 classes per grade.
First Group of central colleges was established in Sri Lanka in the year of 1943 and altogether 54 central colleges were established from 1943 to 1947.
Our College was established on 3 January 1946 with 4 teachers and 55 students under the name of Wallahagoda Central College. It was started in a Buddhist Temple called Niyangampaya Raja Maha Viharaya. Mr. A.G.G. Perera was the pioneer principal and served the college for 6 months and left on a transfer.
The college was established in Gampola due to the great service rendered by the Hon. State Councilor Sir. R.S.S. Gunawardana.
First set of students enrolled was selected from schools around Gampola. Within a short period of time number of college students increased up to 336. The classes were conducted in the Dhamma preaching hall of the temple and vacant class rooms of Wallahagoda Primary School. With the increased number of students the management found that it is difficult to conduct classes. To overcome the problem the college was shifted to a new temporary place.
The education department constructed 3 temporary halls in a new land in Eragoda where the Gampola Muslim Vidyalaya at present. In 1950 the college was submerged under floods which played havoc. The Gampola town was surrounded by flood water for days. The college was badly damaged. To overcome flood 14 acres (57,000 m2) land was taken over from Mariyawatta Estate adjacent to Gampola hospital land. The total land area of the college was a rubber plantation except the land under the buildings.
The college didn’t have a playground at its inception. To overcome it the principal of the college Mr. Senarath commenced a project to construct a play ground. All the staff members including the principal and college students helped to build the play ground by using manual labour.
In 1951, foundation was laid by Hon. Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake to construct a new building to college and it was declared open in 1954 and college was moved to the new building. The college was renamed as Gampola Central College.
High School Certificate (H.S.C) Classes were started in 1952. In 1954 two students (Mr. H.M.D.B Herath and Mr. D.H. Sathischandra) entered to the University of Ceylon in Arts stream.
From 1946 to 1954 all classes were conducted in English medium. To improve the English language standard children who entered to 6th standard were kept for two years in 6th standard and comprehensive English language library was given to them.
In 1955 the medium of education was changed to Sinhala medium and 6th standard classes were conducted in Sinhala medium.
Until 1957 the college did not have a college song. Mr. Cyril Perera assumed duty as college music teacher on 3 January 1957. He was instrumental in composing and producing music of the song. Originally it was “Mathawani Gampola Madi Viduhal…..” because of the name of the college was “Gampola Madya Vidyalaya” or “Gampola Central college” With the change of the name of our college is “Wickramabahu Central College” in 1961, the first line of the song changed to “Mathawani Wickramaba Viduhal…..” since 1961.
Even though we had college colours maroon and gold, college did not have a logo. The honor of preparing the college logo goes to the art master Mr. R.W. Galahitiyawa and to Mr. A.J. De Silva. The motto of the college “Sunatha Dharetha Charatha” was proposed by one of the vice principal Rev. Atabage Rathanajothi. With the introduction of college logo and the college song in 1957 the year goes as the golden year of the college history.
In 1960 with the change of government Mr. Baduddeen became the Hon. Minister of Education. He introduced new changes in to education system. With the restructure of the schools, Gampola Central College lost the female student population and changed into a boys only school. The name of Gampola Central College was changed, and renamed as Wickramabahu Central College.
1960 to 1980 was the golden era of the college. in 1965 out of 14 who sat for the G. C. E. (A/L) examination 12 entered the University of Ceylon in Arts stream. For the first time in 1972, two students entered to the Medical faculty, University of Ceylon. Four students entered the Science Faculty, University of Ceylon. As in the other central colleges it took a long period to produce science qualified students due to lack of quality science teachers.
During this era, college excelled not only in education but as well as in all the extracurricular activities as sports. In the field of sports it took football and the first college football team was formed and it took part in Kandy district inter school football tournament in 1960. The first hard ball cricket team was formed in 1961. In the field of athletics college produced many national athletes.
On the request of the past pupils association the Hon. Minister of Sports commenced a project to improve college play ground. Under this project the playground was leveled and the surface is covered with new verity of grass and produced with 3 turf wickets and matting wicket. Once it is completed it will be ready to play even division 1 club cricket. It is proud to say we are the only central college with a well prepared cricket ground in Sri Lanka.
The ground is blessed with a pavilion with sitting facilities and an air conditioned VIPs area. We are thankful to former Minister of Sports Hon. Mr. Mahindananda Aluthgamage for the project.
In the year of 2014 Mahindodaya technical lab was opened and foundation was laid to construct Technical Faculty building.
- Address: Nawalapitiya Road, Gampola 20500, Sri Lanka
- Phone:081 2 352348
- Website, www.wickramabahu.sch.lk