Mr. Andrew Fowler-Watt – The new principal of Trinity College

Dec - 6 - 2015
Chrishain Jayalath

It is a public secret that Trinity College will see a new principal from the start of the academic year in 2016. The individual who will be at the helm of one of the leading education institutions in Sri Lanka is the well acclaimed educationist, Mr.Andrew Fowler-Watt.

Mr. Fowler-Watt is no stranger to our island nation, having served our shores in the capacity of Principal at Colombo International School and British College, Colombo. He is an old boy of Eton College and is a Master of Arts at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Mr. Fowler-Watt started his teaching career in the UK and has functioned in the capacity of Director of Drama for more than a decade, which is without doubt, of immense benefit to Trinity College, which has a rich history in Performance Arts dating back to the 1800’s.

In the backdrop of Mr. Watt’s advent, I cannot help but imagine the instance when the then charismatic principal of Trinity, Rev. Alec Fraser made his way through the winding road of palm trees. The school was in utter chaos and was nearing its closure. The students at that time, who according to today’s standards are full grown men, were “running the show” at school. “Fraser the visionary” ensured that the same school which he entered in the early 1920’s, was later labeled as the best school in the country (as stated by the then Governor of Ceylon), when he left Trinity. He later took over the reins of Achimota College in Ghana, which is still one of the leading schools in Ghana.

Trinity is what it is today thanks to Fraser, who was also instrumental in bringing forth many a needed education reforms which contributed towards the transformation of the local curriculum as well. For instance, Fraser was the pioneer in carrying out education in the vernacular, which drew repulse of the British rulers of Ceylon at that time. Also, Sri Lanka should acknowledge Fraser for introducing the study of Social Sciences, which was later included in the local syllabus.

The advent Mr. Watts carries similar characteristics to that of Fraser, given that he takes over a school which had gone through a rough patch over the recent past. Only time will tell whether Mr. Watt will live the legacy of his predecessor.

Article written by: Chrishain Nicholas Jayalath (TCK Class of 2008)

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