Buddhist Ladies’ College (BLC) one of the premier Government approved private schools in Colombo. Is in its 66th year of operation focusing on the educational needs of the new generation. BLC was founded by an illustrious son of Sri Lanka, the late Mohandas De Mel, an educationist and lawyer by profession, who strived to maintain the family tradition of inculcating the Buddhist philosophy through education.
His father the late proctor Harry De Mel who was called “The Lion of the Bar” at the Law Courts in Avissawella founded the first Buddhist Swabasha school in his hometown in 1898 and also launched the first Buddhist English school in 1940 Mohandas De Mel founded Sitavaka Vidyalaya at Avissawella for higher education, a mixed school which was later handed over to the government.
Having felt a need for Sinhala Buddhists to educate their daughters in Colombo with hostel facilities, Mr. Mohandas De Mel was inspired to launch Buddhist Ladies’ College. The school was established at Dharmapala Mawatha Colombo 07 on May 20, 1954. Mr. De Mel’s wife and co-founder Bernice De Mel, a product of St. Bridget’s Convent , ensured the smooth operation of the hostel and was the livewire behind the scenes.
The founder principal, leading educationist Clara Motwani, played an active role in establishing BLC as a leading girl’s school in keeping with its moto, ”The Utmost for the Highest”. At the time of its founding it was the only Buddhist private school with a Buddhist principal. BLC began with 300 students on roll and tutorial staff aimed at building a nation of educated, civic minded citizens. It has succeeded in bringing up generations of students who have given back to society, academic and professionals to serve in every department from law to medicine to performing arts.
Buddhist Ladies’ College caters to all communities. At present the school has 1200 students from Montessori to primary to grade 13 and follows the syllabus of the Education Department under the guidance of present principal Malani Kotelawala. Distinguished past pupils include Somalatha Subasinghe, Indunil Dissanayake, Dr. Geethanjali Senanayake, Deepani Silva, Malani Nammuni, Sunethra Taldena, Sita Hapuaarachchi, Disna De Silva, Major General Jagatha Dias to name a few.
Presently, M/s Mohanlal de Mel, Manjeev de Mel and Yohann De Mel are responsible for the management of the school, and they do so by maintaining high standards in delivering quality education. The legacy and the philosophy on which late Mr. Mohandas De Mel established Buddhist Ladies College is retained and nurtured, as they look towards expanding their horizons.