Vivekananda College celebrates 95th anniversary | Sunday Observer

Vivekananda College celebrates 95th anniversary

28 March, 2021

Vivekananda College, founded 95 years ago during British Rule, was the first Hindu school that was set up in Colombo with the purpose of uplifting education in the island. 

It was established thanks to the efforts of Swami Vipulanandar and Swami Sachithanandan on March 1926, and drew its principal inspiration from the historic visit to the island by that great spiritual leader of India, Swami Vivekananda in 1897. 

The first Principal of the school was K Arunachalam and the first manager of the school was Arunachalam Mahadeva. 

Swami Vivekananda’s views on education can be encapsulated by the dictum, ‘become a good human being - make a good human being’. The motto of the school (“Be and Make”) drew from this thought while the school song, authored by Ponnambalam speaks of bringing together energy, education and wisdom. 

The school admitted both girls and boys from its inception. In 1953 and 1963 the school began preparing students for the O/L and A/L examinations. Shortly afterwards, in 1967 the school was able to produce its first University entrant. 

All this, happened at a time when the school was relatively impoverished in terms of physical facilities.  The lack of classrooms was a major problem. 

However, undeterred by this, the students and teachers decided to have classes in the evenings as well, in order to circumvent this problem.  These evening classes, which commenced in 1954, were an integral part of the educational programe until very recently. 

In recent years problems such as the lack of electricity and buildings were resolved.  However, the school recorded what is widely held as its Golden Age (1972 to 1983) amid these problems. That was the time of Principal Maheshan.

He dedicated himself to the development of the school.  He worked tirelessly, day and night, and also obtained the help of people in the neighbourhood, even going house-to-house cam- paigns on occasion.  One of the most significant developments as far as the school is concerned was it being recognised as a ‘National School’ in the year 1996. 

Today under the leadership of Principal Chandrasekar Ravichandrika the school has a student population of 2, 200.  There are 103 teachers. 

There are Tamil and English medium classes in all grades. .

Finally, let me add, on a personal note, that as a old student of Vivekananda College it is a matter of great pride for me to pen these lines about my alma mater as she celebrates 95 years.

Suresh Kumar Pena

(Past Pupil)