In many and varied ways, 2020 showcased our resilience against a global pandemic. Enormous suffering caused by economic deprivations and personal anxieties, have forced us to another phase of our journey, popularly identified as the ‘new normal’. We cannot forget that as a nation we were barely emerging from the tragedy of the Easter attacks of April 2019. Sandwiched between these two crises was the transition of administration at Trinity. In 2020, Trinity has lived through the consequences of two crises and three principals. As always, we continue to stride in the ‘abounding path of life’. It is symbolic of our resilience spanning over one and a half centuries. I must say that through these experiences we have evolved as an institution, refined our processes and upgraded the quality of our service.
The poignant and lingering memories of the past and the uncertainties of the future make it imperative for us to look beyond the immediate with hope and courage; for every struggle transforms and makes us more resilient. We step into 2021 with a renewed vigor for it is the preparatory year of Trinity’s sesquicentennial anniversary [T150]. I recall with gratitude Mr. Andrew Fowler-Watt for the futuristic project he initiated together with the T150 Advisory and Oversight Committee. Trinity will always remember the passion and dedication of Dr. Nalin Wikramanayake, who steered College during the first phase of the Covid pandemic. He was instrumental in initiating the online teaching-learning portal for our staff and students.
Every jubilee, especially within the Christian ethos, is a clarion call to reevaluate, restore and renew. It is a celebration of the Trinity Legacy and the launch of a journey towards excellence. Hence, let me pen some thoughts elucidating our plans for 2021 under key priority areas.
1. Academic Activities
As the latest medical opinions suggest, Covid 19 will continue to impede the return to normalcy. Till then we will continue to deliver our teaching-learning and assessment activities via the virtual platform MS Teams. In view of promoting the Teams for next year, we have appraised their current functionality and made all the necessary upgrading. With periodic training and certification, our academic staff will continue to enhance their competencies in virtual teaching. Our interventions continue to evolve to encourage student participation and the expanded use of the platform for student feedback and assessment. In 2021, we will follow a combined method [online and onsite] in teaching and learning, specially formulated for students in need of remedial learning.
2. Curriculum Management and Development
In view of the Jubilee Year, we have initiated a series of interventions to upgrade our academic curriculum within the framework of national education policy and the demands of the modern world of work. The students in the Middle School will reap the first fruits of these reforms as they will now have less subjects with diversified assessments and increased outdoor learning activities. We also intend to explore the possibility of introducing STEAM education framework and to utilize the College Farm as an extended arena for teaching and learning [class without walls]. There is an urgent need to stabilize the G.C.E. A/L Technology Stream. As an immediate solution we will utilize the existing physical and human resources to prepare the batch of 2021 A/L students.
The process of formalizing [registration of TCK IAL section as a registered center to conduct examinations] the IAL section is already initiated. We will offer a mandatory 2 ½ year academic programme consisting of the already existing biology and math streams and the newly introduced humanities stream. We are closely working with other academic institutions and organizations in this process. We invite the parents of the current grade 11 students to consider IALs as an option, when you decide the A/L stream for your son.
3. Co-Curricular Activities & Sports
Most of our co-curricular efforts were conducted on the virtual platform. Debating Society of TCLA successfully conducted the inaugural Lakshman Kadiragamar Memorial Debate Competition, with an eminent group of adjudicators. Many appreciated and admired the professionalism of our students. The Drama Society of the TCLA, the Japanese Language Society and the Interact Club will showcase their annual events before the end of the year. The choir will live stream the traditional “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” on the 22nd December 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
All sports activities continue to suffer the impact of the closure. Our repeated requests to begin training and conditioning were understandably denied by the health authorities. We were forced to cancel the coveted Bradby Shield encounter [76th] due to the situation in the country. 103rd Battle of the Blues of the Hill Capital between TCK and SACK was also cancelled. We hope to acknowledge and recognize the efforts and achievements of sports teams in 2019/20. Parents are kindly requested to encourage the students to prepare themselves for sports activities with personal schedules and other resources provided by the College.
4. Management and Administration
New Management Structure ratified by the Board of Governors will come to effect from 2021 January. Accordingly, the College Executive Council [CEC] will form the apex decision making body within the College. The College Management Team [CMT] will be a broad-based inter-departmental implementation mechanism of all policy relevant to school management. Trinity Sports Council will make all recommendation in in the field of sports.
5. Physical Infrastructure
In view of TCK 150 we are in the process of revamping all our physical structures, including classrooms and furniture. Given the expanse of our facility this is a formidable task. Further, we eagerly await the completion of the new classroom block and Alison that will add much glamour to College.
6. Student Affairs and Support Services
The appointment of Student Affairs Coordinators [SACs] to the advance level section is a new attempt on our part to promote a culture of erudition among students. Supported by the School Officers’’ Guild, the SACs and the tutorial staff will work in unison to restore and promote mature co-existence and camaraderie among all students. Any form of violence, bullying, hooliganism or extortion have no place at Trinity. We assure that we would not hesitate to take all necessary steps to eradicate any type of behavior unbecoming of a Trinitian. We request the cooperation of parents to prohibit all unauthorized mobile devices from College. These have resulted in strange and unhealthy trends among the student population disturbing the implementation of the curriculum. Hence, ZERO tolerance! Any infringement will be referred to the Trinity Quality Assurance Committee for remedial action. Currently, we are appraising the boarders’ menu and the cafeteria quality to provide nutritious food for students.
7. College Fees Structure
The challenges parents encounter due to our collective predicament are manifold. Hence, there will be no revision of College Fees for 2021. Kindly note the following fee structure and the payment schedule. Let me politely remind the parents that being a fee levying Private School, all curricular, co-curricular and administrative functions of TCK depend solely on the timely payment of school fees.
As we are committed in delivering an overall, holistic education to your child even under these trying circumstances in the coming year under the ‘new normal’ conditions, I am obligated to inform you about the following measures that will come to effect from 2021.
- The school fees payments to be made annually or termly basis only. Any variations will have to be referred in writing to the CEC’s special consideration.
- Students who get promoted to year 14 in 2021 will be required to arrange all due payments [up to August 2021] before 20th January 2021.
- A special rebate of 6% will be granted for those who settle the total annual school fee in full before the 20th January 2021.
Undoubtedly, all of us await with eager hearts and open arms the return of our students and staff to College. Irrespective of that impedes us, we will do our utmost to deliver a quality teaching-learning experience. During the past three months, with the able and willing assistance of administration staff [finance, IT, HR and Support Services], the vice principal, co-vice principal, headmasters, sectional heads, grade heads and faculty heads have put in place a solid programme for curricular and co-curricular activities. Whilst, thanking all of them, I seek the cooperation of parents, alumni and well-wishers to drive this programme in 2021.
We should never lose hope. Hope is the trust that the Almighty will fulfill His promises to us in a way that leads us to true freedom. The person of hope lives in the moment with the knowledge and trust that life moves on beyond the immediate. All the great spiritual leaders in history were people of hope that guided them toward the future without the need to know exactly what it would look like. Let us collectively resist the temptations of the present, its disinformation and anxieties. Let us live with hope that resonates in the birth of Christ, which we celebrate at Christmas. We wish you a grace-filled Christmas and a joyous New Year 2021. Respice Finem.
Rev. Fr. Araliya Jayasundara OSB