Mahanama Primary College, Moneragala, established in 1905 owes its beginning to the commitment of Ven. Thanhankara Thera. In 1928, AMB Attanayake restarted the school while assuming duties as the principal. The school was established with a few resources during the time.
When the school was started there were only 56 students. Ranmanike was the first teacher and the only teacher in the school at the time. The first monitor in the school was NM Ganathi.
In 1931, the school was started under the name ‘Mo/ Mahanama Primary School’. At that time there were eight classes, 72 students and four teachers. In 1937, English was made compulsory. And it was compulsory to speak in English during the English period.
In 1952, the number of students increased up to 120 when Kuruneru began to serve the school as the principal. Later B Samaranayake became the Principal and dedicated himself for the benefit of the students until 1960. After B Samaranayake, AN Wanduragala became the principal. During that time, there were 160 students while the number of teachers increased to seven. His inception in the school is significant as the foundation stone for a secondary school was laid so that the secondary education of the students was assured.
In 1962, P Jayatissa became the principal. By 1966, another building was built in the school premises in order to educate more students. On Novemeber 15, 1969, Ranatunga assumed duties as the principal.
Buddhadasa Kariyawasam became the Principal of the school in 1979. PH Siriwardena served the school from 1980 to 1988. After A Sumanasilee, S Welagedara became the principal, and developed the school in many ways.
Later, BL Damayanthi served the school as the principal until 2012. She committed her time and gave her fullest cooperation for the development of the school. During that time, the school became the best school in Moneragala where a large number of students got through the Grade Five scholarship examination.
The present principal of the school is KM Premathilake, who started serving the school since 2012 while guiding the students to improve their academic skills. The Deputy Principals of the school are AMSA Attanayake who is in charge of the administration, and HMPS Herath is in charge of the educational development.
At present, the school as a primary school educates over 1,253 students. There is an academic staff of 46. There are classes from Grade One to Five. For each Grade there are six classes.
The Head Prefects of the school are Dumanga and Jithmi. There are 75 prefects in the school Prefects’ guild.
The teachers, most of the time, attempt to teach the students with practicals so as to give a clear clarification of the lessons in a practical way. For example, in order to teach a lesson about the nationalities in the country, recently a function has been held with the participation of the Grade Five students. A teacher said, “On that day students dressed clothes representing each nationality in the country. They brought food items that each nationality prepares and engaged in the rituals that each nationality performs. We understood that the students are fond of practical activities which are different for them apart from the everyday lessons in the classes. Since the main target of the school is to prepare the students for the scholarship examinations, we dedicate more time for the academics.”
In 2014, 70 students have got through the Grade Five examinations with flying colors. There are also all island achievements in English Day competitions, music and dancing competitions. There are also provincial level achievements in sports and games like cricket and athletics.
Sports meet is held once in a couple of years. There are three Houses in the school of which the students are divided, basically for House Meet. They are Sura, Veera and Dheera.
The school also organizes an annual trip for each grade. The school also organizes English camps annually in order to help children to improve English oral skills. There are also religious programs organized by the school like sil campaign for Poson Poya Day.
The morning assembly is conducted by the students every day. The assembly is conducted in all three languages. After religious observances, there are speeches from the students, a teacher as well as the principal. Later students engage in exercises. During the assembly, best class of the day is judged by the teachers by observing their behavior throughout the assembly.
There are clubs and societies in the school like Nature club, English unit, First aid unit, western band, prefects’ guild, etc.
The Principal added that the school intends to prepare the students for scholarship examination, and by forming a foundation to their secondary education. “We also intend to help all the students get through the examination without anyone being left alone. And special attention is focused on the students who are weak in different subjects and they are given additional assistance by the academic staff of the school.”
Special thanks to the Principal, K M Premathilake and the teacher in charge of the school library, I HD Ayomi Iddagoda.