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DateLine Sunday, 1 June 2008

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Devotion and sacrifice: secret of success

Head Prefect of Royal college speaks of his challenging school career



Pic: Kavindra Perera

The newly appointed Head Prefect of Royal College, Colombo, 19 year old Ayesh Luckmal Rajapakse said that devotion and sacrifice for college extra curricular activities and co-curricular activities in addition to his normal school education greatly helped him to secure the prestigious position of head prefect.

Ayesh said it was challenging to look into the discipline of over 8000 students. He also valued the close rapport between students of all schools, irrespective of caste, creed or race.

Q- How does the school management select a head prefect ?

A- Prefects are selected after considering each applicant’s commitment towards their educational activities as well as their contribution towards the co- curricular and extra curricular activities in school.

Thereafter, the school management, headed by the principal, select 70 prefects. After three months another 10 prefects are selected on considering their performance. The Head Prefect is selected based on a ballot.

Q- Can you name a few prominent figures who held the position of the Head Prefect?

A- There’re many and I remember former President J. R. Jayawardene and ICC chief match referee Ranjan Madugalle.

Q- You said you have plans to bridge the gap between children of all schools?

A- Yes, I have already planned to form a `Prefect Council’ with the assistance of prefects in all schools.

Q- What is your objective of forming a `Prefect Council’?

A- We have heard minor disputes among students in different schools, especially during their big match seasons, when there is a `Prefect Council’ such matters can be talked over amicably.

The `Prefect Council’ can be compared to the Internationally known the UNO, SAARC, NAM or the Commonwealth as they were too established to bridge the gap between various communities.

Q-Have you any future plans to be implemented for the betterment of students of Royal College?

A- We are planing to conduct research projects, seminars and lectures for students in order to arm themselves to face future challenges. Meanwhile, we commenced a program to enhance English education among students, especially who enter the school after year five scholarship examination.

Q- What are the obstacles you encounter when you play the role as the `Head Prefect’?

A- Royal college has more than 8,000 students. With only 70 prefects, we find it difficult to maintain the discipline of a large number of students. My responsibility is higher when a large number of prefects are absent on a single day.

Q- What are the major responsibilities of a Head Prefect in your school?

A- Maintaining the discipline of students, helping to overcome financial obstacles in some needy students in their educational and sports activities, assisting school authorities in their administerial work, organising the `Colours Night’, the annual `SaGa’ musical extravaganza, arranging boys tent for the Royal-Thomian big match and helping the `Edex’ educational exhibition organising committee.

Q- A fair number of children coming from downtrodden families are studying in your school. Do prefects support them?.

A- Yes, we have identified number of such students, especially entering the college after their year-five scholarship examination and we help them in different ways to enhance their educational as well as sports activities.

We also bring such matters to the notice of the Principal and also to the OBA. The OBA also plays a prominent role in assisting needy students. Many students are comfortable with us to speak about their grievances than teachers.

Q- Many students from affluent social classes such as judges, diplomats, doctors, Cabinet Ministers, Governors etc. are studying at Royal college compared with other schools. If a child of such a person is engaged in an unlawful activity how do you deal with the matter?

A- As the head prefect I am not very much concerned about the boy’s family background. I have also instructed my fellow prefects not to discriminate any one, considering their positions in society. As long as students are under our custody, we always treat them equally.

Q- Some parents complain that children who come for sports practices, especially cricket and rugby, need a little influence to be a permanent member of college sports teams. What’s the truth in that?

A- As far as I know sportsmen are selected for school teams after considering their capabilities in particular sport.

Q- What are the extra curricular and co-curricular activities enage at school?

A- I was the Vice President of the Commerce Society, Secretary of the Archaeological Society, Committee member of the Wildlife Protection Society, Manager in the College National Savings Bank and Editor of the 128th Royal-Thomian magazine.

Q- Do you hope to study abroad after your studies in Sri Lanka?.

A- Since we have enough facilities and resources to continue higher studies in the country it is not necessary, as I feel, to pursue higher studies abroad.

Q- Becoming the Head Prefect at Royal College is a celebrity and you must be proud of that. Who is behind your success?

A- My father. He is also an old Royalist and also was a `prefect’. He encourages me to excel in education as well as in sports.

Q- You were a member of the College rugby team. Are you going to continue with that?

A- Yes, I hope to play for a club while doing my higher studies. I have chosen the field of accountancy and hope to follow a CIMA course like my brother Danushka.

 

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