About Us

Founder President Dr Newton A Peiris speaks at an Awards Ceremony

After the introduction of free market economy in Sri Lanka three decades ago the entrepreneurs in the country established a handful of international schools to cater to the demands that existed at the time. Very many parents had an enormous desire to provide education to their sons and daughters in English medium. Many of them had expectation to enroll their children in prestigious universities and educational institutions in English speaking countries. When we consider international schools as they stand today there exist two clear divisions.

A handful of International Schools in Colombo cater only to a limited elite crowd who have enormous amount of wealth and power at their disposal. They only offer international examinations to their student population and they have little concern about the inculcation of moral, cultural and traditional values which are the basic foundations of Sri Lankan Society. The pupils who come out of the above mentioned institutions are being labeled to a certain extent as aliens who pay least concern to our rich culture and traditions. We often see most of them ridicule our values.

The other set of International Schools are set up to cater to the middle class families who reside in the provinces who have lost faith in mainstream education offered in Sri Lanka. They aspire for English medium education with Sri Lankan flavour. Their main request is for their sons and daughters to educate themselves in an environment which has a rich religious and cultural background while receiving a sound English education. And these international schools which are located in the provinces felt a great need to join hands to achieve their objectives. As a result, The Association of International Schools in Sri Lanka (AISSL) was established in 1997. Today there are 51 schools from different provinces which have become its members. All member schools are offering the Sri Lanka National Curriculum from grade one to thirteen and the member schools are using English medium books published in Sri Lanka by private sector and those that are imported from India.

The member schools in the Association conduct various co-curricular activities to enrich the lives of the students. There are International Primary, Junior and Secondary Schools Certificate Examinations (IPSCE, IJSCE, and ISSCE) essays competitions, General knowledge quiz competitions and above all the schools in the Association organize annual sports carnivals to display the sporting abilities of the students.

The member schools have take part in circuit, Zonal, District and National level sporting events. Many of these athletes’ have established outstanding records even in the national level.

When you analyze the above you would see the contributions made by the International Schools are invaluable. The government is relieved of the burden to provide for those students who study at the International Schools. International Schools provide job opportunities to many as well. International Schools make outstanding dynamic individuals to the work force of Sri Lanka. However, Ministry of Education has still not recognized these schools, though there are over 100,000 students studying in these schools. Whenever our children sit for public exams like GCE (O/L) and (A/L) they sit as private candidates further there are many obstacles and hindrances to children who take part in National events such as dancing, music and so on.

The Government has failed to recognize International Schools even though there had been so many meetings conducted during last two decades. Though we are not recognized yet we are being severely taxed by the government. We pay VAT and NBT and so many other taxes. The qualified principals of International Schools are not allowed to certify the school candidates application for the O/L and A/L examinations. A Grama Niladhari is given precedence over our qualifies Principals. The teachers of International Schools are not given opportunities to take part in seminars, workshops or scholarships organized by the Ministry of Education. Moreover, International Schools are not provided with circulars of Ministry of Education and other related information NIE does not provide facilities or services to the teachers of International Schools to take part in their Degree and training programmes.

We propose government to be more flexible and reasonable in dealing with issues regarding international schools. We hope the government and the Ministry of Education consider the following proposals and be more reasonable in understanding the request of International Schools. We kindly request you to set up an accreditation council to solve the matters regarding International Schools and we ask for recognition and equal participation and representation in all educational activities. Finally we request sharing of resources wherever possible and whenever needed.

This is crucial since all International Schools in the Island provide enlightenment and shelter for all nationals in Sri Lanka. International Schools deserve to be considered as the pivot of creating national harmony and understanding among communities that are long awaited for.


Council of Management


Dr M M Haniffa (Royal English School, Matale)

Secretary General
Dr Newton A Peiris (Royal International School, Kurunegala)

Ms Seela Tennakoon (Royal International School, Kegalle)

Vice Presidents
1. Ms Thushari Koralage (Asian Grammar School, Gothatuwa)
2. Mr A R M Zahir (Gampola International School - Gampola)
3. Mr M S M Ansari (Good Hope International School, Mawanella)

Deputy Secretary General
Mr A A M Jazeel (Hill Country International School, Madawala Bazaar)

Deputy Treasurer
Ms K S Jaufer (Evergreen International School, Gelioya)

Council Members
1. Mr V K Selveraj (Republican International School, Nuwara Eliya)
2. Ms H Wazeer (Brilliant Stars International School, Matara)
3. Mr M A M Nilam (Oxford International School, Warakapola)
4. Mr. Prasanna Dharmakeerthi (Matale International School, Matale)
5. Ms. Rehan Thajudeen (Cambridge International School, Chilaw)
6. Mr N Mohamed (Wesswood International School, Katugastota)
7. Ms Razmil (Crescent International School, Thihariya)

Immediate Past President
Dr M S M Kaleel (Nawalapitiya Oxford International School, Nawalapitiya)