A Perfect Prefect — At Southlands, Galle

Daily News Item, 20 September 2017, with title  Face your fears – Southlands College”…. at… http://www.dailynews.lk/2017/09/20/features/128662/face-your-fears-southlands-college

To face the unknown and the unpredictable with boldness is Southlands Head Girl Kavindya Liyanage’s strong point. Perfect Prefects features Kavindya Liyanage a well- qualified lady who has been equipped with all the necessary leadership skills by the school system of Southlands. “As a Head Prefect, I feel I must be a role model and an example to other students. A Head Girl is chosen because she is the most qualified amongst all the students. In her conduct, she must be exemplary. She must see that discipline is maintained at all times in the school. She must also attend to many activities in school such as assisting the teachers. A head girl must have an all-round personality meaning that she needs to give prominence both to her studies and also to other extra-curricular activities,” said Liyanage.


Above emotions

Life is unpredictable and unknown, and one must navigate it with courage. In an event anything can go wrong. Things may not go according to the plan. When things start to deviate one may feel a sense of fear. And as the fear builds up, one needs to control one’s emotions. One needs to be able to separate thought from emotion. And above all one needs to be strong.

“A Head Prefect should have common sense and also needs to think intelligently when confronting problems. The post of Head Prefect is a big challenge as it is. In any festival, things may not go according to plan, so in a way, you need to think on one’s feet. A Head Prefect should be prepared to face this, and that in itself is a preparation for what comes next in life. Prefects are appointed for their problem-solving abilities. They are appointed for their critical thinking skills,” said Liyanage.

Humans are human. We are not perfect. We cannot see into the future. No matter how much we anticipate things may start to go wrong. Again the fear factor. The pressure gets to you. Suddenly you are unsure. At times like this, you need to think and not let your circumstances determine the outcome.

“A festival could be quite hectic. It is an event with a certain amount of pressure. Things may not go as planned. So I feel I have to be calm and composed. I should be unruffled. I should not panic, because if I start to panic that is when things will really fall apart. I need to be able to assess the situation and its pros and cons and I need to be resolute,” explained Liyanage.

Way up the system

Southlands has provided Liyanage with an admirable foundation. She has worked her way up the system. She has been where her fellow deputies have been. She knows the system inside out. And it is this knowledge she passes down.

“As a Head Prefect, I need to be able to motivate, encourage and inspire my fellow prefects. I need them to follow my vision. I should be able to provide effective and competent leadership.

The knowledge of how to do that comes only through experience. Through trial and error. It is that learning that I pass on to my other prefects. I should have to have prior experience. That is the system at Southlands. By the time the Head Girl receives her post, she has experience in all matters related to school. That is how I face challenges,” said Liyanage.

Before criticizing others, Liyanage believes in self-introspection. Before examining others faults, she first works on herself. Believe in yourself and be confident say Liyanage. You need to above all trust yourself and believe that when the dust settles you are the winner.

“My message to anyone aspiring for a leadership position is to face any problem boldly. A Head Prefect has to face a variety of problems. There needs to be a certain vision. She needs to be mindful of her own behavior and must assess herself before criticizing others. She must perform her duty to the best of her abilities,” said Liyanage.

Book knowledge is certainly very important and that is a requisite for a Head Girl. After all the bookwork always turns into a beautiful butterfly when it emerges from its cocoon. But she must also be competent in other extracurricular activities.

Hands-on experience

“When undertaking a task one must be strong. Education, diplomas, and grades are important but practical thinking and intelligence are also important and this can be gained through hands-on experience. If you don’t have these skills then you are only a leader by name,” said Liyanage.

To learn something of value and to possess something of value you need to be practical and you need exposure which is so important. That wrong decision you make can have drastic effects. You need to be self-possessed.

“You need to be independent and takes matters into your own hands when the tide is turning against you. The post of Head Girl is something special. It is the highest student position in the school. It is a triumph and you need to respect it,” stated Liyanage

From the time she was small, she has been imbued in music because both her parents were music teachers. Music is superb therapy when facing problems. It helps you think. Music is very powerful. It calms the mind and provides a sense of tranquility.

“My mother is my heroine who raised me as a single parent after the death of my father. She has been a huge influence in my life. Like my mother, I want to be a strong woman one day who can overcome anything in life,” said Liyanage.

Liyanage is fortunate to have two very reliable deputies. On many occasions, they have brainstormed and come up with solutions. They divide their responsibilities between each other and then execute the plan. You cannot do these things alone because it is group work. Teamwork. By conferring with them she sees the aspect of a problem that she has not considered before.

“I see it in a different angle. Combined we make a great team! I want to thank my teachers for their guidance. They point out my mistakes and I learn,” said Liyanage

“Another thing I want to point out is not to wallow in sad memories and to think objectively regardless of your feelings. If you do not think objectively then you can’t take correct decisions,” summed up Liyanage.

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