Project For The Development of Dhamma School Teachers

An in-house programme designed to develop the Professional Skills and Personality Traits of about 8000 volunteer teachers in 580 Dhamma Schools in theKalutara District, commenced recently under the auspices of the Kalutara Bodhi Trust. The inaugural session of this Project was ceremonially declared open in the Kalutara Bodhi premises onthe 13th of October 2018, presided over by the Most Venerable Dediyawela Thilakasiri Anunayake Thera, with the participation of the Venerable Maha Sangha, and that of Mr. Ajitha de Zoysa, Chairman and other Honorary Trustees of the Kalutara Bodhi Trust, Mr. UDC Jayalal, District Secretary and distinguished persons of the area.
The key objective of this project is to contribute towards the worthy cause of moulding future generations in such a way as to form a society consisting of just and noble persons, ideally, nurturing qualities of those who aspire to be a Buddha. It should be noted that this Project for the improvement of the skills of Dhamma School teachers is based on ten very specific objectives, founded upon the development of those who teach the Doctrine of the Buddha, in cognitive, affective and psychomotor fields.

The content of this teacher training project too has been built up in such a manner that it contributes to the realisation of the objectives referred to above.Here Educational Psychology, Teaching Methodologies and the unmatched quality of the role of a teacher which contribute to the development of the teaching skills of the trainees will be discussed. Meanwhile training will be effected according to a host of subjects which include proposals relevant to the development of the personality and the attitudes of the teacher.This Project for the development of Dhamma School Teachersplanned in line with a proposal made by Deshabandu Indradasa Hettiarachchi, an Honorary Member of the Kalutara Bodhi Trust and former District Minister of the Kalutara District, is being implemented with the approval ofthe members of the Board of the Kalutara Bodhi Trust, chaired by Mr. Ajita de Zoysa.

The sessions of the Project will be conducted during two days of the week (i.e.the week-ends) and 12 hours of lectures / discussions / activities will comprise one session. There will be 140 teachers invited to each session. Thirty-five (35) of them will form each of four groups for convenience of training. About 20 sessions of the first Phase of the Project will be set apart to train a sample group of teachers drawn from Dhamma Schools in 17 Sasanaarakshaka Mandalas(Councils for the Protection of the Sasana) falling within the 14 Administrative Divisions of the Kalutara District.Sessions are scheduled to be conducted during the Second Phase of the Project, for the rest of the teachers.

Sri Lanka Educationalists and Lecturers in Teacher Education will serve as resource persons in the Project. During the training sessions participants will be provided with tea, the mid-day meal and facilities fortravel. The Kalutara Bodhi Trust will award Certificates of Participation to those who reach the required standards.
Although the immediate target group of beneficiaries of this Project is the Dhamma School teachers in the Kalutara District, the true dividends will eventually be paid to myriads of students in the Kalutara District who comprise future generations. Thus, this Project will serve as an Investment for the Future and shall also be deemed a unique gift of valuable service to society by the Kalutara Bodhi Trust, in the cause of the Buddha Sasana.