See My Story - Pamodh Yasawardene

My first experience with Gateway was when I joined the Gateway Kids School of Computing at the age of 9. At that time I did not realize that Gateway would make such an impact on my life. Dr. Harsha Alles, the Director of the Gateway Group, has been a source of encouragement to me from my initial days at Gateway. He has guided me throughout the last few years with a very personal touch to bring out the best in me.

Gateway teachers have had the ability to discover my skills long before even I realized. I joined the Gateway Kids School of computing (Nugegoda branch) at Tier 4. After completing Tier 4, my teacher gave me a double promotion and placed me at Tier 6. With the guidance of my teachers, I completed the highest possible level (Tier 9), at the age of 13, two years ahead of most of my colleagues. My teachers also encouraged me to enter the Young Computer Scientist competition in the year 2007. I was just 13 years old when I received a Merit award at this competition. In the following years, I won the Gold Medal in the same competition – first in the Junior category and next in the Senior category. Both years, I represented my country at Asia Pacific ICT Awards that were held in Malaysia and in Thailand.

At the age of 15 years and 9 months, while still being a full time student of Royal College Colombo, my parents and the teachers of Gateway encouraged me to sit for the London O/L examination in May 2009, by studying at the Gateway Institute of Advanced Studies at Rodney Street, Borella. I received ‘A’ grades in all 6 subjects I sat for. In addition, I sat for IGCSE IT and received an ‘A*’ grade (highest awarded in IGCSE). I was recognised at the Edexcel International Awards ceremony for my achievements. Thereafter, I went on to do London AS and A2 examinations too where I received all As at AS level and all A*s at Advanced Level. I am thankful to Gateway for making it possible for me receive the highest possible result in London A/Ls even before sitting for Sri Lankan O/Ls.

I have now joined the Gateway Graduate School (GGS) for my higher studies. I enrolled on a part-time basis to follow the International Diploma in Computer Studies, the first year of a British IT Degree. Gateway Graduate School is a pleasant change for me. The very flexible nature of the Graduate School helped me to draw a safe balance between my IT studies and local science curriculum at Royal College. I started my first year at GGS, just before my Sri Lankan Ordinary level examination and continued after sitting the O/L examination and during the free time that followed. The committed faculty of GGS was the main force behind my achievement at the recently concluded NCC International Diploma in Computer Studies – making me the “ Global High Achiever”. All the lecturers were competent and strict but always had time for us. They did not adhere to working hours and most times, even in the middle of the night, I was able to link with them through email and clarify my doubts and proceed with the assignments and projects. The atmosphere at the Graduate School was very relaxing with a good set of friends who were always very helpful. Being with them has been fun.

The library with very useful learning material was a favourite place of mine. The Management ensures that the latest, updated textbooks and teaching material, including study guides, are made available to us. The modern facilities available at Gateway Graduate School combined with an excellent faculty would undoubtedly bring the best out of any undergraduate.

My dream is to be a physician. Mr Michael Dobson, the Head of the GGS is assisting me to realize my ambition by making contact with the top UK Universities where I can pursue my medical studies. I am thankful to Gateway for pushing my boundaries .