About

The Buddhist Institute Sunday Dhamma School (BISDS) was first established as a Religious School in 1929 with an enrolment of 12 Sinhala children who studied the Sinhala language and chanting under the tutelage of Ven. M. Dhammadassi Thera, the incumbent bhikkhu of the Brickfields Buddhist Temple. The school had strong support from members of the Sinhala community. The School was managed by a few temple devotees such as Mr. D.M.I. Uluwita Bandara, Mr. J.B. Chandradasa, Mr. Austin Amarasekera and Mr. T.R. Wijesinghe.
The year the BISDS was established varies according to various sources. Ven. Pemaloka, the then School Principal in his 1970 school reports states “After twenty-two years of existence the Buddhist Institution has at last managed to reach a stage when it was definitely heading towards steady progress.” This indicates the founding of the school to be 1949.
Ven. Wimalajothi in his 1987 School report mentioned “the School was formed in 1926 with 12 Sinhalese children.”

Mr. M.H.Albert in his article for the 75th Anniversary of the Buddhist Temple, Brickfields reported “The Dhamma School which had a modest beginning in 1929 saw a very bright future when activities were revived in 1948 and in 1952 the classes were conducted on a more organized basis.” Incidentally, Mr. M.H.Albert was one of the first 12 students of the School in 1929.
An interview by Mr. H.M.A. de Silva with the late Mr. Martin Jayathissa transcribed reads, “I still remember that (Mr.) K.A.Albert used to teach me in the Sinhalese language classes conducted by Ven. Pandit K. Siriniwassa Maha Thera (Pandita Hamduro) in the old Sentul Buddhist Temple back in the 1920s.. I particularly remember participating in Wesak Carols for three successive years in 1923, 1924 & 1925 and we travelled on our rounds in gaily decorated bullock carts organized by the Sentul Buddhist Temple.. on the evening of Wesak Day and wind our way through the town visiting.. Buddhist houses and finally the Brickfields Buddhist Temple before returning to Sentul in the early hours of the following morning.”

This interview indicates the existing of a School in Sentul in the 1920s, which is the government aided language classes taught in the school run in the Sentul Buddhist Temple. The participation in Wesak Carols indicates organized Buddhist children participation in Wesak carolling activities travelling between both the Temples in the 1920s which could be infered to hint strong possibility of the existence of the BISDS in the 1920s as there was already a Sinhalese school running in the Sentul Temple and naturally the devotees in Brickfields wanted a similar class too but leaning towards Buddhism.
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