The education sector in Sri Lanka as well as globally suffered immensely with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and many Educational Institutes found ways to continue conducting their educational programs remotely. When it comes to the hospitality sector in Sri Lanka, Win-Stone Hotel School was the first in the country to conduct lectures online for their students and ensured that their students’ learning process continued smoothly without any hindrance. This was one of the most recent highlights for the hotel school, which is located at 287/2C, Stanley Thilakarathne Mawatha, Jubilee Post, Nugegoda. Apart from that, Win-Stone Hotel School had swiftly managed to begin operations and continue with their programs.
Win-stone was founded by Iyanthi Goonewardene, who is the Institute’s Managing Director and also happens to be the nation’s first female Executive Chef. Win-Stone Hotel School offers a range of National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) courses and are affiliated with a number of foreign Institutes in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada. These partnerships enable Sri Lankan students either enrol and complete their programs locally or they can opt to complete their fundamental programs in Sri Lanka and travel abroad for the final leg of their respective programs.
Another advantage that comes to show Win-Stone Hotel School’s commitment to the nation, is by way of helping to prevent an outflow of foreign currency, so students can also save a large amount of money since programs that would otherwise cost somewhere in the range of $13,000 AUD, would cost $3,000 AUD when done in Sri Lanka. At Win-Stone, which currently offer courses to over 250 students, offers certificate level courses in aspects of cookery and bakery etc. The Institute also offers a one-year diploma course and advanced diplomas that can be completed in one year and eight months.
The advantage of pursuing a qualification through Win-Stone is that students can receive a more interactive learning approach due to the level of attention each student receives and the class limits they set, with attending to a class of no more than 25 students in one sitting to help maintain standards.Hotel school students can therefore, also be able to complete a course such as the advanced diploma, which would be completed at a stretch, thus helping the student to become qualified swiftly and easily experience a smooth transition to a career of their choice with the Institute’s support. Win-Stone Hotel School also has a recruitment arm which supports graduate students apply for jobs aboard some of the world’s most popular cruise ships and companies such as AIDA, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Costa Cruises.
Win-Stone Hotel School was first initiated by Iyanthi Goonewardene at the height of the war and at the time, the school’s founder was able to apply for a grant and receive funds from the Asian Development Board (ADB) to further advance the school’s goals of offering prospective students with a learning opportunity in an industry that was gaining momentum gradually at the time. Ms. Iyanthi shared her views about the successful journey that the school has had so far and what she thinks about the future of the industry.
She said, “We are very optimistic about the future of the industry and believe that we Sri Lankans, are very resilient. Even during a pandemic, we managed to get past the bigger hurdles and I am sure that things for the industry will get back to normal very soon”. She also encouraged more young women to join the industry and assured that no matter what misconceptions parents might have about the industry, it is a very satisfying profession to be in and the work environment is very well-protected. She acknowledged that when compared to the past, more women are joining the workforce and that is a very positive thing. She also expressed her gratitude to Win-Stone Hotel School Director, Jagath Perera who influenced her goal of starting the school, when she noticed a lack of awareness about the industry and work involved.
For more information about the school and their programs, visit https://www.thewinstonegroup.com/