Due to the serious lack of accommodation in the good schools in the Island, both State and Private, there was a grave concern among the parents about the education of their children. Similarly, the lack of knowledge in the English medium created serious problems not only for those who intended to pursue advanced studies abroad, but also for the progress of the local economy.
These became very clear with the “Open Economy” policy of the government at the time. To meet these disadvantages a new feature was introduced into the field of education here in Sri Lanka, and that was the International School.
The International Schools system was introduced in the 1980s and gained quick popularity. Several schools cropped up in Colombo to begin with and expanded to the suburbs. Subsequently, it spread to the towns elsewhere.
While plenty of children rushed to these schools and received a good education, many of these schools, if not all, lacked a distinct feature that was traditionally an integral component of a child’s education here in Sri Lanka. And that was the teaching of religion.
Traditionally we have always had religion as an essential component that comprised a holistic education and formation of our children. Be it the pirivena, the denominational school or the state run school, religious instructions and formation comprised this essential component. The lack of this segment, in most of the International Schools and a number of problems arising among the children due to this caused serious concern especially among our Catholic parents.
Several Parents alerted to us to these disadvantages and proposed that we should set up our own Catholic International Schools to meet this demand. Rev. Fr. Neil D. Karunarathne C.SS.R met me while I was Auxiliary Bishop at the time and we discussed this problem at length. Finally, having discussed with a number of lay persons, we decided to launch out on the project of founding St.Nicholas’ Education Foundation to run Catholic International Colleges.
The first such international school was initiated twenty (20) years ago on 1st September, 1991 in Colombo. Its first Principal was the Holy Family Sr. Charles priorly Principal of Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya. The school had Fr. D .Abraham Stephan OSB, Sr. Pauline Perera OP. Prof. B, Bastiampillai, Mr. Frank Jayasinghe so far as past principals. The present principal is Dr.Ruwan Perera. It maintains a very high standard of education with an able and qualified staff.
Eight years ago, to meet the growing demand for the school, a branch was launched in Negombo.Commenced on the 6th June, 2003 the school today has surpassed the mother school in numbers. Its principal, from the very commencement is Mr. Anton Perera. The school has the privilege of very dedicated Religious Sisters and highly qualified lay teachers both male and female serving on the staff.
The school celebrates her patronal feast on the 6th December each year. It was named ‘’Nicholas” as an expression of love and loyalty to very Rev. Fr. D. J. Nicholas perera, the renowned Rector of St. Peters’ College, Bambalapitiya, a national patriot, under whom most of the lay persons who cooperated in the founding of the school had studied.
Rev. Dr. Oswald Gomis,
Archbishop Emeritus of Colombo.