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Nestled in the heart of the buzzing city of Colombo 7, down Rosmead Place is a compound full of buildings, and within its four walls there is a height of activity. More than 6000 students ranging from the ages of 2 ½ years to 18 years are busy educating themselves in one of the most prestigious and much sought after educational institutes of Sri Lanka – Musaeus College.

The antecedents of Musaeus College date back to the days of the Buddhist Revivalist Movement of Ceylon, during the latter part of the 19th Century, when Mrs. Marie Musaeus Higgins of German origin, inspired by the Theosophists Col H. S. Olcott and Peter de Abrew wished to build a school where local Ceylonese girls could receive a good education and inculcate the values of Buddhism. She tirelessly pursued this goal, and it saw fruition when Mr. William De Abrew and Mr. Peter De Abrew, impressed by Mrs. Higgins’ passion and zeal, donated half an acre of land in Cinnamon Gardens, where the “Mud Palace” was built in 1891 to house 12 students, with Mrs. Higgins as both the Principal and the only teacher.

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Considering its humble beginnings, Musaeus College can indeed be proud of the colossal strides it has made during the past 122 years, to enjoy the prestige of being a premier education institution in the country that stands on its own, unaided by state funds.

The College authorities since its earlier days have endeavoured to provide its students the best facilities, conducive to good teaching and learning. From spacious class-rooms, well equipped laboratories to the ultra modern sports facilities consisting of a modern gymnasium, squash and badminton courts, an indoor swimming pool, etc to the latest development of the state-of-the-art hall with a seating capacity of over 1500, Musaeus can today boast of schooling facilities that are unrivalled in the country.

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Students who enter the portals of Musaeus are bestowed with the best of education that anyone can anticipate, under the guidance and tutoring of a well qualified academic staff of more than 300. The College offers education from Lower Nursery to Advanced Level in both the Sinhala and English Mediums. Students also have the option of taking classes and study programmes for London examinations.

Musaeus College is devoted to providing young girls with an all-round education. Equal emphasis is given to academics, co-curricular and extracurricular activities, and developing a keen social conscience amongst its students. Buddhism is given a pre-eminent place in all school programmes with an objective to inspire students with the tenets of Buddhism and train them according to the Buddhist way of life.

From Lucy De Abrew, the first Sinhalese female student to enter Medical College and the first female student to win the “Jeejeeboy Scholarship” in 1903, Musaeites have always demonstrated a high-level of academic standard. At the 2012 GCE O/L Examination Musaeus was placed all-island first among private schools and fifth among all schools. Out of 430 students, 199 passed with eight ‘A’ grades and above. Based on GCE A/L Examination results of 2012, Musaeus was placed all-island fourth in the Commerce stream and 66 students secured three ‘A’ Grades. Students have been doing exceptionally well at London Examinations as well, gaining World Prizes consistently.

The College also maintains a German Language Training Centre affiliated to the Goethe Institute, Colombo to help widen the educational scope of its students.

Musaeus College fully supports various co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Over 40 active clubs and societies dedicated to different art forms, sciences, wild life and conservation and more, help children to pursue their interests beyond the scope of the syllabus.

Since 2001, the Oriental Dance Troupe has had the rare opportunity in representing Sri Lanka at many International platforms in Malaysia, Taiwan, Hungary, Switzerland, and most recently at the 40th International GANNAT Festival 2013 held in France. Girl Guiding at Musaeus College has a history of more than six decades and has produced nearly 100 Presidents and Prime Minister’s Guides. To date, four guide captains of 23rd Colombo have served the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association as Chief Commissioners.

Over the years, Musaeus has nurtured a culture of sporting excellence and many are the names that illuminate the roll call of Musaeus sportswomen who have brought honour and credit to their alma mater and the nation. Musaeites have managed to secure International titles in sports such as Chess FIDE Master, GRAND Master, etc.

On November 15, 2013 Musaeus College completes 122 years of yeomen service to generations of Buddhist women in the country. At this juncture, it acknowledges with gratitude, the present Chairman Mr. Ajita De Zoysa and the Board of Trustees and the Principal Mrs. S Dandeniya for being solid pillars of strength behind all its successes.

As it celebrates 122 years of excellence, Musaeus College is ready to embrace the changes of this fast-paced world, and continue to be an education institution of all-round excellence that groom young girls to be responsible citizens of tomorrow.

- Sujitha Miranda

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