Pathway Pre School blends eastern cultural values with western standards of education

Saturday, 1 October 2011 00:51 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Spacious, airy classrooms, the most modern teaching techniques, caring, experienced staff. What better environment for pre schoolers to learn the values and knowledge that will shape their futures?

Situated in spacious, easily accessible premises with ample room for expansion, Pathway Pre School is an initiative by the Colombo YMBA. Although the present pre school intake is for 2 ½ to 5 year olds, plans are underway to introduce a grade 1 class next year, which will be a stepping stone to a fully fledged premier boy’s school in the not too distant future. Pathway will then experience a name change, from Pre School to International College.

In addition to classrooms, the school comprises a library of colourful books, a well equipped music room as well as a computer room in which the children are taught basic computer skills.

The national curriculum is taught in the English medium within a Buddhist environment in the best of occidental and oriental cultures. Sinhala is taught as a subject. Pathway Pre School will remain multi ethnic and multi religious in the intake of pupils.

Mr Prasanna Gonnetilleke, past President of the Colombo YMBA explains the concept behind the school, “Colombo has many international schools, but we see them promoting a western culture almost to the neglect of our rich eastern heritage. This has brought about the perception that such institutions promote a rather decadent and permissive style of life. As a result, many parents hesitate to send their children to these schools, despite the high standards of education they maintain. Pathway Pre School will straddle both these requirements and provides a unique opportunity for parents to give their children the best Sri Lanka has to offer.”

Concept development is one novel initiative that creates a foundation for teaching mathematics at higher grades. This method focuses on the importance of recognising shapes, colours and sizes. The school uses the interactive method of shop keeping to engage and interest the children and ensure that the lessons are firmly instilled in young and curious minds. Strong emphasis on sensorial education encourages development and awareness of the five senses - eye-hand co-ordination, smell, touch etc.

Environment Studies teaches the children to appreciate nature and helps them identify fauna and flora. This subject is taken to a practical level where the children are taught to manage a vegetable garden and by doing this, to watch and record the plants as they grow. Other activities taught are arts and crafts, music, dancing, and elocution.

Dr Jayantha Cooray, a grandparent, endorses the efficacy of the Pre School, “I am very impressed  with the quality of pre school education imparted at Pathway. Our three grandchildren, on  a four month holiday from Australia, were fortunate to be educated at Pathway.

They got a wholesome experience of our culture, religion and the Sri Lankan way of life. The facilities available are excellent – not second to any in other parts of the world. The best accolade I could think of are the words of my four year old grand daughter, “Seeya, I love Pathway better than my kindy in Adelaide.”

Judging from the laughter and enthusiasm of the young learners, these unique and innovative methods and the airy well equipped class rooms are enjoyed and well appreciated.