Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya is a public girls’ school located in Nugegoda, Sri Lanka. It was founded on 5 May 1915 and is considered as the oldest girls’ school in Nugegoda.
Samudradevi Balika Vidyalaya was started as St John’s Mixes school with 14 pupils on May 5, 1915. Initially it was a Christian Mission school and the first principal of the school was Rev. Fr. James Henry Wickramanayake.
The first prize-giving had been held on 6th of October 1917. The year 1919 was special as two important changes took place. Fr.J.H.Wickramanayake was transferred to Baddegama and Rev. Fr.J.P Ramanayake came for this position. At the same time Mrs. M.S.Labroy was appointed as the New principal. Fr. Ramanayake was able to get a donation from the government for the first time. It was Rs.562.30 When Mrs.Labroy left Mrs. A Palmer Caldera held the position and it was taken over by Mrs.E.Buljans in 1922. With the help of the church she was able to put up a building for the primary section. At this time the highest grade was grade 8. Five students sat for the E.S.L.C. Examination and four were able to obtain first class. Nealin Munasinghe who obtained the best results was given a gold sovereign and a certificate by the superintendent of police Mr. Dowbigin.
With the retirement of Fr. Ramanayake on 15th of June 1930 his position was filled by Fr.P.E.Wickramasinghe. Fr. Ramanayake’s dedicated service during his period made a good foundation for Fr. Wickramasinghe to continue from there. Financial status was also on a satisfactory position. With the retirement of Mrs. Baljan’s, Mrs. E.E. Oldens who was a senior teacher became the Principal. During her 24 years of service there was a rapid progress in education and also in the physical resources. With the help of her husband Mr. Oldens she was able to build a permanent single storey building replacing the old temporary building. Today it is the building with the main hall. A home science room was also built. Because the number of students increased the school was promoted to a senior secondary school in 1932. A playground also added to this.
During the period of Fr. Wickramasinghe he has taken many steps towards the development of the school. Later on request by the parents, the land adjoining vidyala mawatha was bought and a temporary building was built, and the boys in grade 2 upwards were transferred to this building. Then on this school was named St. John’s girls’ school. In the boys school students were taught up to Landon Matriculation Exam. After this separation Mrs.Oldans was able to increase the number from 230 to 320. In the boys school it was increased from 167 to 256.
With the increase in the number expansion of buildings was needed. A science laboratory was also added during this time.
In 1934, the mixes school was separated into Girls’ and Boys’ schools. The girls’ school was known as st John’s Girls’ School and boys’ school was known as St John’s boys’ college. The schools were under the church of SS Mary and John, Nugegoda.
The Girl Guides Association which started under the guidance of Mrs. Mercy De Silva in 1932 gained a name as the second successful batch in Nugegoda. The house system was also started during the period of Mrs. Oldans. The first houses were Wickramanayake Livua, Ramanayake and Wickramasinghe. Later two Other houses were added by the names Karunaratne and Oldans.
In 1940 the single storey building was turned to a two storey building and the silver jubilee was celebrated under the patronage of the Bishop of Colombo. At that time apart from the main subjects Dancing, Music, English Speech, Sports and Guiding was taught.
With the retirement of Mrs. Oldans in 1955. Mrs. Princess Jayasekara who was a graduate became the Principal. During her time the school was promoted to a grade II school. During the period of Mrs. B.L.Jayaratne the next Principal the school was taken over to the government. On 15th of December 1960 this school became a government school. Then it was a school which had classes from the Kindergarten to University entrance. English, Sinhala, Commerce and Drama societies were formed.
On 15th of May 1963, for the first time a Buddhist Principal was appointed. She was Mrs. Padmini Fonseka. St. John’s Balika Vidyalaya faced many changes during this period. According to the regulations of the Department of Education English medium classes were transfered to St. Joseph’s Girls’ School Nugegoda.
On April 1st 1965 the name of the school was approved as “Samudradevi Balika Maha Vidyalaya”. Mrs. Fonseka created a school song with the Lyrics by the artist Karunaratne Abeysekera. The school Motto”w;a; oSmd úyr:” was also created during this time. The school western band was also formed.
From 1967-1970 the position of Principal was held by Mrs. L.B.Walaliyadda and from 1970-1978 Mrs. Rani Fernando was the Principal. During this period school’s resources developed and the management was decentralized. Buddhist activities were also progressed during this time.
In 1978 Mrs. Ilene Siriwardena was appointed as the Principal. It is evident that she was able to get the fullest co-operation of the academic staff, parents & past pupils to fulfill the needs of the school. As a result of her effort she was able to build a three storey building and the 3rd floor was given to a library. Two stories were built for primary and past primary sections. With the help of the OGA Educational and religious activities were developed. A canteen was also started by the OGA. Installation of a telephone system was also a special feature. The land where the Primary section is at present has been taken over by the government and the foundation stone was laid for the new three storey building during the period of Mrs.Ilene Siriwardena.
In July 1983 Mrs. Lona Kumaranatunga the vice Principal was promoted to the post of Principal. The three storey building was completed and student welfare society and student counseling service were started. Establishing the Special Education Unit for the handicapped students and the computer unit for the advanced level students were special features during this period.
It is evident that during the period of Mrs. Gothami Fernando from May – December 1989 management was reorganized.
Present Samudradevi Balika has become a 1AB school. Today this school which provides Shelter for more than 2500 students has come a long way because of the dedication and courage of the efficient. Principals and teachers of the past. Today all students are provided Education in Science, Maths Commerce and Arts streams. And also there are co-curricular activities which help to produce balanced personalities. The number of teachers in the academic staff has increased to 126 while the minor staff consists of 15 members. The present Principal, Staff together with the school Development Society and OGA look forward for a long journey towards success.
Mrs G Oldance
Ms P Jayasekara
Ms B L Jayathunga
Mrs P Fonseka
Mrs L B Walaliyadda
Mrs R Fernando
Mrs I Siriwardhana
Mrs L Kumarathunga
Mrs G Fernando
Mrs M K Perera
Mrs P Kalubowila
Mrs W S Ranasingha
Mrs O P R D S Jayawardhana