COLOMBO – Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of the Malaysian prime minister, was an honourable guest at a pre-school concert staged at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre here last night.
The Carlton Pre-School Annual Concert 2014 was also attended by Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, who is also the founder, director and principal of the school.
About 1,800 children presented 22 dances and songs, ranging from local to western genre, for over two hours at the concert.
Dressed in colourful attire, the children, from the lower and upper kindergartens, showcased their talents in singing, acting, dancing and playing musical instruments, according to their classes, to a full house.
The Carlton Pre-School was established in 1986 and currently has eight branches located in the central, southern and northern provinces of Sri Lanka.
With an enrolment of over 2,000 students, the school also conducts separate classes for autistic children, children with special needs and differently-abled children.
In her speech after the concert, Rosmah showered praises on the children and teachers from the branches of the school across Sri Lanka for their continuous commitment in ensuring that they put up a wonderful show.
â€œAfter months of practice, the hard work today has certainly been worthwhile. As parents, I am sure you are very proud of your talented children,â€ she said.
Rosmah also shared with the audience her efforts to initiate the Permata Negara Programme for early childhood education and care which offers an alternative approach in early education and child care for children below the age of four in Malaysia.
The Permata patron said there was also the Permata Seni (Jewels of the Arts) Programme to nurture children talented in the performing arts, especially music, choir and dance, as well as to have their talents further refined and enhanced.
Rosmah also praised Shiranthi Rajapaksa, who is a professional in the field of child psychology and pre-school education, for being able to bring the Carlton Pre-School to greater heights.
â€œI congratulate and commend Madam Shiranthi for her tireless endeavour in promoting affordable and high standard early education in Sri Lanka. She has been a model mother and educator in putting her utmost commitment to the betterment of the school,â€ she said.
Earlier, in her welcoming remarks, Shiranthi shared some insights of the concert where the pupils, including children with special needs, were taught the importance of communication and coordination to ensure that the night was a success.
â€œAt Carlton Pre-School, we also strongly believe that every child is a special image of ability or disability. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to see the special needs children performing with such energy and confidence. This is truly unique in the Carlton Pre-School,â€ she said.
Shiranthi said the teachers, especially those having to handle the several types of children, had their skills improved by attending classes and seminars as well as training programmes overseas throughout the year.
After the concert, Rosmah and the Malaysian delegation attended a dinner at the residence of the president here. – BERNAMA