Business News: The 7th Annual International TISSL (The International Schools of Sri Lanka) Conference for Heads of Schools; the only annual conference of the nature in Sri Lanka concluded successfully at Marriot Resort and Spa Hotel, Weligama in November. This year’s event marked the highest participation to date with a record number of over 280 delegates attending the event, representing education service providers and heads of schools from government, semi government and international schools/institutions from all over Sri Lanka.
The event, which was held under the theme ‘Leading and Learning through turbulent times’, was an attempt to keep abreast with the latest educational developments, trends and practices. Whereby an eminent panel of speakers attended the event to educate the delegates. As such, it provided a window for Heads and decision makers from all TISSL affiliated schools as well as non-member International Schools, State Schools and Private Schools in the region to elevate their existing practices and also to exchange best practices.
“This year’s annual conference can be marked undoubtably as one of the most successful TISSL conferences since its inception in the year 2013. It was an event that catered to one of the most thriving issues of the present-day context, circulating around turbulences that may occur as results of both external and internal factors. Be it natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other issues such as changes technological and geopolitical landscape or internal factors such as significant changes in company strategy or deteriorating performance,” Stated Kumari Hapugalle Perera, the Chairperson of TISSL/Executive Director-Alethea International School.
“The highlight of this year’s event was the 1st ever TISSL’s Lifetime Achievement Awards, accoladed to six eminent professionals selected by a renowned judge panel to recognize his dedication to alter the course of education in Sri Lanka.” Added Kumari Hapugalle Perera. She further added that, “This award was intended to honour outstanding personalities in education who have dedicated their lives to the enhancement of schools in Sri Lanka with their pioneering spirit, demonstrated innovation and selfless dedication and commitment to Education.
“I am much obliged to Dr. Harsha Alles, Dr. Kumari Grero, Malithi Jayatissa, Harshana Perera and Chrishanthi Archchige who supported myself as the Chairperson who internalized the award that would become a tradition in the upcoming annual conferences in future,” she added.
The winners of the ‘Life Time Achievement award for the year 2019’ included, Founding Principal of Gateway College Kandy, Asoka Banda Herath, Founder of Asian International School, Dr. Goolbai Gunasekara, Founder of Royal Institute, G.T. Bandara, Principal of Wycherley International School, Kingsley Jayasinghe, Founder of Lyceum International School Network, Dr. Mohan Lal Grero, Founding Member of Gateway Schools, Rohini Alles. In addition to the six LTA award winners, renowned educationalist Dr. Frank Jayasinghe was nominated LTAA award for his contribution to TISSL’.
They were judged by Deshabandu Jezima Ismail, Educator, Broadcaster and Social Activist, N.Y. Casie Chetty, Former Headmaster – S. Thomas’ Preparatory School (1995 – December 2014) and Onalie Dissanayake, Country Head (Sri Lanka & The Maldives) at CIM | The Chartered Institute of Marketing.
The event’s keynote address was made by the Chief Guest, Dr. Ravi Fernando – Chairman/CEO Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt. Ltd & Visiting Faculty Member at INSEAD Business School (France) & PIM on the theme “Building Global mind sets in Turbulent times”. While Dr. David Ashall, Chair of the Board of Governors Colombo International Institute of Higher Education (CIIHE) & Colombo Institute of Research & Psychology (CIRP) attended as the Guest of Honor addressed on “Challenges in International Higher Education & Future of Transnational Education”.
Six eminent foreign/local speakers from around the world were panelists at the event, in keeping with TISSL commitment to bring global best practices of world class education to the Sri Lankan classrooms. Ujjwal Singh, TEDx Speaker, Education Futurist, Patent Applicant in India & US, Rapid Prototyper and Vice President, New Product & Solutions, Global Market, Pearson was sponsored by Pearson Education as their Guest Speaker spoke on “: Learn – Unlearn – Relearn; The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn”. Sadie Visick – OxfordAQA , Managing Director was the guest Speaker sponsored by the Oxford University Press addressed on “No More Heroes – How Good Leaders Keep Organisations Safe”, Dr. Darshan Perera, Chair of CIRP & Chairman of CIIHE was invited by Colombo International Institute of Higher Education as their Guest speaker and addressed on “Psychological insights for Academic Administrators on helping psychological well-being of students at a time of increased social exposure and emotional isolation” while CAIE & CUP hosted Dr. Phil Kirkman – Principal Lecturer and Head of Education Partnerships for the School of Education at Anglia Ruskin University spoke on “Transforming educational leadership through turbulence: lessons from leading international education MBAs” . Natalia Cohen, Coxless Crew Team Member, Inspirational Speaker and Mindset, hosted by British Council delivered a stimulating secession on “How to have a positive mindset during turbulent times? The power of diversity within a team and the importance of values and transparency: Losing Sight of Shore.” Final speaker Deshamanya Dr. Rohantha Athukorala addressed on “Cutting edge marketing with Artificial Intelligence (AI).”
Conference Partner & Platinum Sponsor TISSL Conference on Education for Heads were CIIHE School of Psychology – Colombo Institute of Research & Psychology. The Gold Sponsors were Cambridge Assessment International Examinations together with Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Pearson Edexcel who will each host an international speaker to address the conference based on the theme. In addition, British Council has joined in as a silver sponsor while providing a distinguish speaker for the event. The other silver sponsors are Business Management School, Emergence Education Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, Horizon Campus, Jeya Book Center, Monash University, Nations Trust Bank, Prime Business Solutions, Star Publishing, Softlogic Life Insurance PLC and South Asian Technologies. Furthermore, Create Labs – Singapore, CodeGen International (Pvt) Ltd, Informatics Institute of Technology and St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School – Australia will also join hands as bronze sponsors for the event.
TISSL formed in 2003, brings together the heads of the foremost International Schools in Sri Lanka to serve the impetus of upscaling and elevating the education system to keep up with global education standards. TISSL also focuses on exchanging innovative teaching and learning methodologies practiced among the member schools and increasing collaboration within schools for mutual benefit.