Ayanna From Guru Gedara (School) Our first encounter with Guru Gedara is through Buddhist literature. Our folklore refers to Guru gedara as the Thaksalawa. Its principal was Disapamok. All the students of this school were residential and learnt their studies under the guidance of their teacher and the syllabus was very extensive. It included academic subjects such as Veda/ Vedaanga/ ayurvedaya/ astrology/ history/ language literature as well practical skills such as fencing/ archery.
IN THE HISTORY, TEMPLE WAS SRI LANKA’S FIRST GURU GEDARA. THEY LEARNT THEIR FIRST LETTERS FROM THE CHIEF INCUMBENT OF THE TEMPLE AND THEN STUDIED ACADEMIC BOOKS SUCH AS NAM POTHA/ MAGUL LAKUNA/ BHUDDA GAJJAYA/ SAKASKADA AND SCIENCES SUCH AS MEDICINE AND ASTROLOGY. PIRIVENA WAS THE MOST PROGRESSIVE STAGE OF THIS EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM. DURING THE REIGN OF KING PARAKRAMABAHU THE GREAT, THESE WERE CALLED AS MOOLA AND EIGHT CATEGORIES OF ELDERLY CLERGY HAD RULED THESE MAIN MOOLAS OR ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS. DURING THE KANDYAN PERIOD THIS EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM WAS COMPLETELY DETERIORATED AND WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NIYAMAKANDA PIRIVEN BY THE REVEREND WELIWITA ASARANA SARANA SARANANKARA THERO THE PIRIVEN EDUCATION REGAINED ITS OPERATION.
VARIOUS MISSIONARY GROUPS WHO CAME DURING THE EUROPEAN RULING PERIODS ESTABLISHED SCHOOLS CENTERED AROUND THE CHURCH. UNDER THIS SYSTEM A HIGHLY INNOVATED SCHOOL SYSTEM WAS ESTABLISHED IN THE COASTAL AREAS OF SRI LANKA AND A NUMBER OF BUDDHIST SCHOOLS WERE ESTABLISHED IN MAIN CITIES OF THE COUNTRY BY THE PARAMAWINGNARTHA COMPANY WHICH PRESIDED BY SIR HENRY STEEL OLCOT. (EG. ANANDA COLLEGE, NALANDA COLLEGE). AFTER THE ENACTMENT OF THE FREE EDUCATION ACT PRESENTED BY HON. C.W.W KANNANGARA, EDUCATION THAT WAS LIMITED ONLY TO CITIES WAS SPREAD TO VILLAGES AND IT LED TO THE CREATION OF AN EDUCATED GROUP OF STUDENTS FROM ALL THE REGIONS OF THE COUNTRY.
AT PRESENT GURU GEDARA HAS PROGRESSED INTO A HIGHLY ADVANCED NETWORK OF PRE-CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT CENTRES, PRIMARY SCHOOLS, MAHA VIDYALAYAS, CENTRAL COLLEGES. IN ADDITION TO THIS, WITH THE SPREAD OF ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY WITHIN THE COUNTRY, AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPACE AND FACILITIES FOR THIS PURPOSE THE SCOPE FOR LEARNING AND TEACHING THROUGH INTERNET BY THE USE OF VARIOUS MEDIUMS IS BEING EXPANDED.