The annual Open Day of Royal Institute International School (RI) was held last week at the Royal Institute of Colombo (RIC), with the presence of several hundred students and parents from all five branches, and many potential entrants who seek admission to Pearson Edexcel Advanced Subsidiary Level/Advanced Level classes and National GCE Advanced Level classes at RI.
As a school with over 50 years of experience and expertise in the industry of both national and international education in the country, the school firmly believes not only in providing high quality education to its learners but also in guiding them in the right career path from an early stage.
Although customarily, schools, students and parents begin working out their hasty decisions on selecting subject streams at a rather later stage, RI insists on making career choices as early as at grade 8. The strategy works out remarkably well as it enables both students and parents to make well informed decisions at their own pace, instead of rushing to make ill-informed decisions based on regular non-reliable information.
Amongst the speakers of the event was Dr. Nirodha Bandara, Academic Director of Royal Institute and the Royal Institute of Colombo, who emphasized on several key areas which some students and parents are less aware of. In her speech, she explained the importance of completing the Advanced Level study programme, which some tend to overlook at present. “If one thinks it is best to enroll in a foundation level degree programme in a university, as it may appear to be financially profitable, time saving and less work, then it is not quite so,” said Dr. Nirodha convincingly, drawing the attention of the students and parents to the fact that it is definitely more work at foundation level as that single year encompasses a workload similar to the volume of study done over almost two academic years, in a regular Advanced Level study programme in school.
Her words also cleared several other misconceptions that are rooted in Sri Lankan students and parents: she vividly explained in her speech, the degree of similarity the two British examination bodies Cambridge International and Pearson Edexcel display. Royal Institute is the best to exemplify the equal reputation and recognition the two examination bodies receive, with hundreds of its past students who have obtained either of the said AL qualification and excelling in their respective fields of medicine, economics, research, physics, trade and commerce, etc. both here and chiefly, overseas. Statistics showed the world’s top universities they have found entry to including, Cornell University, Monash, Princeton, University of Manchester, University of Melbourne, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, etc. Out of them, a number of RI past pupils have received 90% – 97% scholarships based on their academic performances, irrespective of the AL qualification awarding body.
Dr. Nirodha continued, “It is quite important that the students have more leisure time for themselves to indulge in sports, other extra-curricular activities, and most importantly in self-study. We strongly believe in providing quality wholistic education to your child and so, apart from all academic study, RI offers them almost every sport a school can think of, in addition to opportunities to join the eastern and western bands, girl guides and scouts, dance troupes and the school choirs.”
Furthermore, her presentation elaborately illustrated the diverse subject combinations offered at Royal Institute in the Advanced Level study programme along with numerous demanding and lucrative career opportunities they lead to. RI offers a range of subjects in the disciplines of Science, Commerce and Social Sciences including the novel subjects, Law, Psychology and English. The cheerful expressions on the faces of the participants indicated enlightenment upon receiving very reliable first-hand information and clarification from all what the speaker had so generously shared.
Interestingly, the other guest speakers Dr. Devangi Perera and Ms. Himashi Botheju are two notable alumni of Royal Institute. Dr. Devangi has completed her Edexcel ALs at RI Nugegoda Branch and received her PhD in Economics of Education from the Monash University, while Ms. Himashi Botheju has completed her GCE ALs at RI Maharagama and is currently reading for her medical degree at the Karapitiya Medical Faculty, University of Ruhuna.
The speakers shared their school experiences and completely agreed with Dr. Nirodha on the importance of having leisure time to engage in play and self-study; they continued to share their experiences as students who were heavily engaged in extracurricular activities held afterschool. Their thoughts also reflected the wholehearted gratitude they have towards their alma mater and revealed the extent of care, support and grounding they had received at RI, as students. They themselves exemplify the fond attachment RI alumni cherish to have with their alma mater, and participants found their experiences to be highly inspiring.
Following the highly informative and well thought of speeches was the Q & A session where the participants gathered extra clarification and information from the resource personnel.
The latter half of the event encompassed presentations done by Advanced Level subject teachers, at two separate settings, one for those who opt for Pearson Edexcel Advanced Level study programme, and the other for those who opt for National GCE Advanced Level study programme. The presentations were an ideal way for the students to have an insight to each subject available; the importance of the subject, an outline of the content and the availability of career opportunities were the presentation highlights.
On a final note, the recent Open Day organized by Royal Institute undoubtedly opened doors to a plethora of revelations and opportunities to all those enthusiastic participants who walked in.