ⓘ Sri Punyarathana Dhamma School at Choola Bodhi Viharaya is a free education Buddhist religion center for children under the age of 18 years. It is situated in t ..


ⓘ Sri Punyarathana Dhamma School

Sri Punyarathana Dhamma School at Choola Bodhi Viharaya is a free education Buddhist religion center for children under the age of 18 years. It is situated in the village Haburugala in the Southern part of Sri Lanka. The purpose of the school is to guide students from Haburugala and nearby villages to understand, practice, and analyze Theravada Buddhist principals which Lord Buddha discovered. The school intends to produce non-violent, peaceful, well-mannered students with their ambitions to become useful people to the world. The school is maintained by the Choola Bodhi Viharaya temple in Haburugala, Bentota which is an agricultural village. The chief monk Venerable Uhan Owita Sumanasiri is the principal of the free Buddhist school since its establishment in 1987.


1. Charity Work

The teachers in Sri Punyarathana Dhamma School, Haburugala dont take any payment for their service as they consider it to be a service to the society and a charity work. The Buddhists who believe Theravada Buddhism, the Karma is believed. In simple terms, the Theravada Buddhists believe that the good deed with good mind result in good luck while the bad deed with bad thoughts result in bad luck. This idea seems to encourage the students to become teachers who sacrifise their valuable time for the next generation students.

The school has proven its education standards in many ways. In 2008, a girl won the Island-wide Competition for the Final Grade competition in "Dhaham Denuma" the knowledge on Buddhism. The students have won several awards in the Bentota regional competitions resulting in the first place for six consecutive years from 2004 to 2009.


2. Staff Members and Education

The staff consists of 18 teachers where 7 of them are holding Bachelors degree holders in various fields such as Computer Science, Arts, Languages, Buddhism etc. The principal was a teacher and the former principal of Miriswatta Maha Vidyalaya government school, Miriswatta, Bentota before his retirement in 1998. He had obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kelaniya. The assistant principal Venerable Uhan Owita Nagitha finished his Bachelor of Arts degree in 2008.


3. Problems

The problems the Dhamma school face are as follows. Due to the educational standards of the Dhamma school and the discipline constructed with well-understanding of the morals, the number of students who enter the Dhamma school increases every year. The temple rarely gets a funding from the government resulting a drop of facilities for the students. Since income of the families in the area is not equally distributed, the school takes no fee from the students. Classes are held in outdoor environment which pleases the students because of the natural Surroundings, but the classes have to be stopped whenever there is rain. Furthermore, the number of students are higher than the number of chairs and desks available. This results in a problem for the students to continue their studies. The available building facilities is not enough for the students. There are knowledged people with educational qualifications to teach Computer Science, Information Technology, even though there is neither a computer nor the required facilities.

Due to high competition for available seats in Universities, students from grade 11 tends to leave the Dhamma school to participate in tuition classes required for the school curriculum. When it comes to grade 12, students tend to omit the final examination resulting a waste of 11 years of Dhamma education. The competition to enter to the universities can lead the students to a situation where they undergo anxiety and fear. Most of the Dhamma school teachers consider this as a social problem.

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