Developing Entrepreneurial Leadership of A/L Students

Stafford International School, one of the most respected and popular international schools in Colombo which has been producing students with extraordinary academic results and university placements for the past 25 years, has embarked on an industry-first mission to launch a well-structured enrichment program through a strategic partnership with Colombo Leadership Academy.

This is a revolutionary step for private schools in Sri Lanka. Following are excerpts of an interview with Stafford International School Academic Director Suvin Wettimuny and Colombo Leadership Academy Director/CEO Riaz Hassen:

Q: Why did Stafford initiate this enrichment program for A/L students?

Wettimuny: Whilst the emphasis in Years 12 and 13 is on academic studies, students will be preparing to enter a competitive world where the required skill set goes beyond pure academia. With automation taking over the workplace rapidly the time is now to start preparing for the future of work where the younger generation will have to prepare to adapt and be lifelong learners.

Even just five years from now, more than one-third of the skills we believe are essential for today’s workforce will have changed according to the Future of Jobs Report from the World Economic Forum. I believe that entrepreneurship and out of the box-thinking will be the key to driving the future of our Sri Lankan economy.

Q: What are the expectations on the outcomes of the program?

Wettimuny: We are hoping the skills and the confidence inculcated by the program will drive some of our students and put their young minds into action. People have ideas all the time, but never action them because they are clueless about where and how to start. We are hoping that this partnership with CLA will give them the confidence and skills to action their ideas.

Q: Why is it important to develop entrepreneurial leadership skills?

Hassen: For over a decade we have been coaching executives in the corporate world who come with sound academic skills and we have observed that functional domain excellence alone would not help future leaders to thrive in their positions and the need to develop entrepreneurial mindsets across the organization is vital to produce business savvy managers. Given these skills at a younger age would certainly help instigate creativity, innovation and out of the box thinking to bring about value creation and create exclusive spaces for driving organizational goals profitably.

Q: What personal benefits would students gain from this enrichment program?

Hassen: The program would help students equip well and deepen their understanding on how business ideas are generated, create awareness on how to identify market gaps and design products and services. It would also prepare them to face the challenges in people management skills, communication effectiveness, confidence building, leadership development skills etc.

Overall we are strategically crafting the young minds to prepare themselves and empower business savvy leaders who could contribute effectively for their personal growth.

Colombo Leadership Academy together with Stafford International School are quite excited in developing this enrichment program in order to prepare the millennial mindsets to conquer the challenges of tomorrow.