Gateway College organized a special programme titled ‘VSAK Online 2020’, to welcome students from Years 11, 12 and 13, to the new academic year.The programme was designed to provide students with insights to the right Values, Skills, Attitudes and Knowledge in order to help them succeed in life and the workplace. A panel of Sri Lankan and overseas speakers joined over 700 students from across four Gateway Campuses via live broadcasts over three days from 18 th to 20 th May. The thought provoking sessions addressed a variety of topics. Discussions revolved around personal branding strategies, career paths, planning for University and many more. Timely topics such as cultivating resilience, and sexual reproductive health were also addressed. Students had the opportunity to interact with the Co-founder of Vega Innovations, and understand the challenges faced by the Sri Lankan team at VEGA when developing a high end project, a luxury electric supercar. Mingling virtually with friends during a watch party and via a virtual quiz was also a highlight for most students who have been at home for months.
A few comments from students who participated: “VSAK online was an interesting experience to say the least. Quite honestly, I did not have high hopes for it when I heard about the program - I felt it's virtual nature meant there would be a lack of interactivity. To say the program blew my less than stellar expectations away would be a british understatement” - Kavin Gunasekara “Despite looking away from the screen numerous times, I'm grateful I listened through the whole thing. The suitability of the online platform become apparent in the anonymous questions we were allowed to ask which otherwise we may have been embarrassed to do so due to our norms, the like feature which allowed us to nod our approval of a sentiment and the quiz conducted through quizizz, which was really fun” – Hevindu Samarakoon “Towards the last two days, I attended a session on building resilience to the challenges of life and the very next day, one that would develop my understanding of higher education. I attended these at a friend’s house (in spite of Lock Down) and I listened spellbound as I had finally discovered the light at the end of a dark tunnel. Forcing myself to look at my friend, who also gazed, so enraptured that the glint in his eyes seemed to reach his glasses and bounce back in my direction. It was as if I had been enlightened. I had finally learnt how to face society again and restart my life, finding courage in this new wealth of knowledge. My friend and I chatted nineteen to the dozen, reflecting on how truly amazing it was, and how perfectly the two sessions had been scheduled, as if premeditated or by fate, to move my heart and stir my soul” - Nimjaya Mahawaduge Local and International Speakers at VSAK Online 2020