Education is an integral part of creating a bright future to look forward to, allowing each one of us to take full control of how our life will be. Dedicating her life to motivate establishing a solid groundwork in education and ensuring the future of many individuals. Deepika Dassenaike, the current Principal of Ladies’ College Colombo, has taken the new challenges of the new post-pandemic era where digitalization has interfered to create a new method of education.
In an era where online work is eminent, almost every industry has made adjustments to accommodate the new methods of doing things. The educational sector, as an important part of evolution, has adapted to the changes as well, in the hopes of maintaining a smooth flow and quick recovery from the pandemic’s harm. Ladies’ College has been able to integrate into the modern system of education, responding to their students’ demands for the greatest quality of education while incorporating the best technology has to offer, thanks to the thinking and direction taken by the administration of the school. A time like this truly puts to test the innovative thinking and timely guidance of a leader. When it comes to the facet which restlessly shelters the responsibilities of a world’s future, the performance of a principal is expected to be prompt and ingenious. Deepika fits herself into the many roles she fulfills as a daughter, wife, mother, sister, sister-in-law, niece, daughter-in-law, and friend who has been blessed with a supportive, loving family and sincere friends, while effortlessly catering to each contrasting role with utmost love and dedication.
Adding to the list of the many roles she gratefully recounts, she highlights her professional role as the principal of Ladies’ College. She believes that she has been privileged to have gained exposure locally and globally, in the legal field and in both the private and education sectors. She is also grateful for having had an opportunity to serve in the roles of a mentor, guide, encourager, counsellor, teacher, administrator and leader and finds it an honour to be involved as a woman leader in the field where futures are sculpted.
“Strong female role models and mentors amongst close family, friends and colleagues helped to make me a career woman. The biggest factor that has helped me be successful has been my faith.”, stated the protagonist, recounting the path that has led her to where she is.Deepika has gone to great lengths to provide the best for her students, based on her faith with a progressive mindset. Challenges become increasingly alarming when it involves thousands of learning minds and the impact the new normal may leave on their academic advancement. Added to that is the crippling pressure of adjustment these children may feel, trying to get through routines that they were not prepared for. Not allowing the breaking of trust these children or their parents have placed under the protective shelter of Ladies’ College, Deepika is swiftly manoeuvring the tricky ride, ensuring that the girls are benefitted, learned and are comfortable. With the goal of creating an all-round learning experience where students can expose themselves to being mindful, intellectual beings who can actively contribute to the progress of society, Deepika proceeds to state the importance of ‘challenging ourselves to make online lessons more engaging and interactive”. “Using ideas such as flipped classrooms and having our extra-curricular activities and events online as per our school calendar were some of the things that we did to keep our students positive and engaged in this new method of education.”
While incorporating an interactive approach to the new method of learning, Deepika is mindful of creating a broad educational experience integrating motivational speakers and activities involving mindfulness to help maintain the psychological wellbeing of students.
Along with creating diversity within the learning system, Deepika embraces the most precious motive that drives her to be a unique leader. She claims that any approach that bases itself on humility will be effective in leadership. Leadership must always benefit with a touch of humility and should not be clasped with any boundaries for one to succeed. It should not be bound by any ostensible limitations. As a female leader, she claims that a rigid gender mindset does not contribute to leadership, whereas a more expansive approach based on one’s capability will determine the success of leadership.
“Humility in all things and interactions is a leadership characteristic that I hope is emulated by me. “
Accompanying the hope of being a good leader, Deepika acknowledges the vast support system that drives her to be the best leader. The changes are embraced positively by a team of professionals that are open to adapting and contributing their best as they progress ahead as one.
“We were fortunate to have immediately got online with a reasonably tech-savvy staff. Additionally, with technological expertise and support extended to the school, it managed to quite effectively manoeuvre through online education.”
With an eminent network structure supported by the guiding light of Deepika’s excellence and vision, Ladies’ College hopes to continue to tread on while contributing to individuals with educational excellence and exceptional mannerism to society.
Deepika is a firm believer in creating a balanced trellis of productivity that’ll upkeep and hold the smooth coordination of an organization. With such a vision and thought process, the college looks forward to an entrusted upgrade as the world of education moves ahead with the solid integration of technology. Her vision stands on ‘strengthening value and activity-based learning and the spiritual growth of students.’
“Introducing contingency planning, transdisciplinary learning, and an alternate non-academic learning curriculum to give students with varied learning abilities an opportunity for inclusive and integrated learning. Enhancing the school curriculum, soft skills training, and social responsibility projects would help students to start practically and creatively contributing to making their world a better place—both in the local and global arenas.” Deepika says. With a solid plan for the future of Ladies’ College, Deepika also looks forward to expanding existing co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and programs. While upgrading the school’s infrastructure, updating the school’s administrative and other processes, reinforcing effective teacher development and welfare programs. The administration is creating platforms for more exposure and opportunities through student exchanges, efficient career counselling, and strengthening an active university placement and scholarship program in the upcoming years.
Under the illuminating leadership of Deepika, an inspirational and innovative base work is evidently steering Ladies’ College to new heights of success where educational upgrades are catered to uphold the excellence of individuals. Assuring the future of the many students, the trust of this eminent alma-mater of many uniquely excellent individuals will continue to strive and thrive as they stay true to their faith and achieve victory on the solid basis of Deepika’s leadership.