At the turn of the 20th century, the British rule in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) had been firmly rooted. Having encouraged by the rulers, the Christian missionaries had been engaged in missionary work through the missionary schools established by that time, in most of the main towns including Colombo, Yapane, Mahanuwara, Galla, Matara and Kurunegala. Undoubtedly, the motive behind this type of ‘education’ was to acquire cultural and social dependancy of the natives.
Anyhow, the majority of native Buddhist children had little or no access to these schools due to religious, economic and social constraints. Hence, being very sympathetic over the unfortunate situation confronted by the Buddhists, Colonel. S.Olcott and Mrs. Biavetsky along with Ven. Migettuwatte Gunanananda Thero, Ven, Hikkaduwe Sri Sumagala Thero and some of the Buddhist leaders namely Don Carolis Hewavitarana, C.P. Gunawardhana and Pundith Batuwantudawe took the initiative steps to from the Buddhist Theosophical Society (The B.T.S.) in order to look in to possible measure to remedy the situation.
Accordingly, the B.T.S., unanimously reached at the decision to establish several Buddhist English schools in the main towns of the country. And the first of its kind was founded in Colombo in 1886, named Ananda Vidyalaya. Followed by this, several other Buddhist English schools came into existence in the main towns, those are namely Dharmaraja Vidyalaya, Mahanuwara, Mahinda Vidyalaya Galla, Maliyadeva Vidyalaya Kurunegala and Nalanda Vidyalaya Colombo and several others in other parts of the country.
At that time, the situation prevailed in Kegalla area, was no way different from rest of the country, and the missionary schools were dominating in the field of English education thus, creating a mono politic setup. Reacting to this situation, guided by the then Sinhala Buddhist leaders namely Dr. G.P. Malalasekara, Mr.P De S. Kularatne, Sir A.F.Molamure, the regionalBuddhist leaders like Messrs P.B. Balasooriya, K.G. Chrles, Peter Rajakaruna, D.D.Atukorala, D.M. Seneviratne, D.C.Appuhamy, L.B. Siyambalapitiya and K.G. Piyadasa took the preliminary steps towards the establishment of a Buddhist English school for the Buddhist children of Kegalla.
After having made two abortive efforts in 1937 and in1940, to establish a Buddhist English school in Kegalla the third effort ended up in a success. As a result ‘ Kegalla Buddhist English School was founded on the 14 February 1942 and this historic moment was grazed by Sir D.B. Jayathilaka, Sir A.F.Molamure, and Mr C.T. Loraj the Assistant Director of Education who also represented the then Minister of Education Dr C.W.W. Kannangara.
The first principal of young ‘ Kagalla Buddhist English School’ was young Mr. K.L.V. Mendis (later Dr. K.L.V. Alagiyawanna) , who was fortunate enough to participate in Kegalu Vidyala’s 50th year celibrations.
Over the years Kegalu Vidyalaya has made remarkable achievements in the field of engineering, medicine, agriculture, commerce, art and sports. under the able leader ships of Mr. R.M. Abeywardhana, Dr. Jinadasa Perera, Mr. T.B. Karunaratne, Mr. B.S. Gunasekara, Mr. W.M.P. Dayarathne, Mr. S.B. Koswaththa, Mr. N.A.S. Bandara and the present Principal Mr. W.M. Dharmapala.
Further, mention must be made about some distinguished old boys who brought recognition and honor to their alma mater through achievements. They are Mr Sarath Mayadunne (Auditor General, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka), Vice Admiral Daya Sandagiri (Commander of the Navy of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka), Dr W.A. Wishvawarnapala (Former Professor of Political Science, Peradeniya University), Prof: Sarath Bandara (Peradeniya University), Prof: Sarath Siyambalapitiya (Peradeniya University).
Over the years Kegalu Vidyalaya has produced over 450 engineers,300 doctors of medicine, and thousands of learned people of varing disciplines who are serving here and overseas.
Dear friends! This is not a complete record of the History of Kegalu Vidyalaya, where you and I studied in the past. Motive behind this piece of writing is to compose a complete historical record of the school with the help of you all, who can provide us, known, relevant, information in the future. Therefore we hope you would react at your earliest. Read More>>