Royal College Colombo, recently celebrated ‘PASCH’ Day on a grand scale. The Chief Guest was Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Sri Lanka, Jens Uwe Ploetner.
Also present on the occasion were Charge d’ Affaires, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Stefan Weckback, Director, Goethe Institute, Bjorn Ketels, Principal of Royal College, Upali Gunasekera, Deputy Principal, Royal College and Sri Lanka’s National PASCH Coordinator, Lakshmi Attygalle and several others.
The event opened with the throbbing of Sri Lankan Thammattan and Getabera fusing harmoniously with ‘Vollmond’, a popular German song. The entire morning took on a typical German flavour with the colours of the German flag and haunting German music.
The boys of Royal College and the two other schools in Sri Lanka currently enjoying PASCH status — Jennings International and Musaeus College presented items combining German language skills through drama, speech and singing, etc.
The Advanced Level students of Royal College also made a presentation based on their experiences at the Youth Camp held in Birklehof covering visits to the Black Forest and the Benz Museum in Germany.
Royal College also launched ‘ROYAL.DE’, its first ever publication in the German language. The winners of the Youth Film Competition conducted by the Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka also received their awards from its Director Bjorn Ketels and Brigitte Wimaladharma. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest Jens Uwe Ploetner, said he was delighted with the great strides Royal College has taken in the teaching of the German language since it was first introduced to the school several years ago. He complimented Royal College for the initiative taken on the partnership with Calcutta and New Delhi as he firmly believed the goal of a worldwide network of 1000 partner schools was surpassed within a very short time.
Director of the Goethe-Institut – Sri Lanka, Bjorn Ketels gifted valuable teaching aids to the Royal College’s state-of-the-art “German Language Training Centre” which was established in 2009 in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Dr. Guido Westerwelle, Germany’s Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs, observed, “We want to be open to the diversity of cultures and tolerant of the differences we see in other people. For that we need more than ever places where we can meet and get to know one another, where we can learn together and be creative together. This is what our partner schools abroad provide.”
One of the significant activities of PASCH is the “real life situation” opportunities and exposure given to Sri Lankan students in various Youth Camps. In fact as part of the PASCH programme, students between the ages of 15-16 years from all three PASCH schools were sent to youth camps overseas during the past two years. Royal College goes on record as being Sri Lanka’s first-ever national school to gain ‘PASCH’ (Partner School) status with Germany. The teaching of the German language at Royal College Colombo has ushered in a new era in the language curriculum of this school while also inspiring great enthusiasm in the students.