Director of Education(Piriven)
Pirivena Education today and tomorrow.
Throughout the history of Sri Lanka, Pirivena Education has been subject to various changes. In the history, Pirivena was only a small rom in a monastery and consequently it has now become an education centre. It was Asarana Sarana Waliwita Saraanankara Sangharaja Nayaka Thero who lived in Kandyan era having virtues of a Bodhisatta, who was able to re-establish the monastery education which had perished at a time. At the era of the Kandyan Kingdom as well as in the colonial period, there were a number of restrictions to the Pirivena Education. Many of the Pirivenas existing today are the offshoots of Vidyodaya and Vidyalankara Pirivenas. The Pirivena which was once more independent and more systematic does not prevail today in that satisfactory level.
There are several factors which affected the decline of Pirivena Education. Well educated Bhikkhus inclined to the teacher service of the government schools. It affected the Pirivena Education, considerably. As the Pirivena has been colligated with the school education system, the future of Pirivena is rapidly becoming uncertain by now. It can also be said that the changes in political and various socio-culture fields have negatively affected the realization of real goals of Pirivena Education.
If it is necessary to regain the historical identity of the Pirivena and to bestow the classic Pirivena Education to the future generation , It is essential to make necessary changes in the Pirivena system, immediately. The first step for that is to increase a positive attitude towards the Pirivena, in the minds of both the teachers and the students who are engaging in the process of teaching and learning. It is also necessary to take steps to provide the Pirivena teachers further education and a training. Pirivena should be kept under a proper management. Teachers who are appointed to Pirivenas should be monitored so that they can conform to the prevailing competitive education pattern. Also, it is essential to trigger them to higher targets. Pirivena should be made an institute which illuminates the lives of children who enter the Buddha Sasana as novice monks. Taking necessary steps to achieve that target is an epochal responsibility of both the Buddhist.
I would like to mention here that the continuation of the Buddha Sasana does not depend on the temples, monasteries and shrine rooms but it depends on the Pirivena education.