BUDDHIST AND PÂÉI COLLEGE OF SINGAPORE
no 30 Jalan Eunos
Buddhist and Pali College of Singapore was set up in 1994 under the able guidance and patronage of the venerable M. M. Mahaweera Nayaka Thera, the chief resident monk of Mangala Vihara, Singapore. the college caters to the religious cum educational needs of Singaporeans who are eagerly seeking ways and means to widen their horizon of Dhamma knowledge in Buddhism. At a time when Venerable Mahaveera was looking for avenues to broaden the scope of Sunday Dhamma classess at Mangala vihara, he took the initiative in setting up the Buddhist and Pali College mainly for dthe purpose of providing advanced courses of Buddhist studies to those who were interested in continuing their Vuddhist education further.
From its inception the college was affiliated to Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, recognized as one of the Commonweath universities on Sri Lanka.
At the very outset, an independent Council of Management was set up representing ten leading Buddhist temples and Buddhist societies in Singapore. Those were;
1. Mangala Vihara
2. Sri Lankaramaya
3. Mahakaruna Buddhist society
4. Ruwan Buddhist society
5. Ananda Maitreya Buddhist temple
6. Palelai Buddhist temple
7. buddhist graduate Fellowship
8. burmesre Buddhist temple
9. Ti-sarana Buddhist Association
10. Foo Hai Ch'an Monastery
Now the full responsibility of running the college rests upon Mangala Vihara Buddhist temple.
The college was exempted from requirements of the provisions of the Education Act and approved as a private education centre by the Ministry of Education, Singapore.
at the beginning, the college offered two courses of studies: one year Diploma Course in Buddhism and four years' Bachelor of arts (Honours) Degree Course. But after two batches of the Hounours course, the university advised the college to take up the three years' Bachelor arts (General) course.
In the course of past 13 years, the college has progressed well. As an affiliate of Buddhist and pali University of Sri Lanka, the college conducts the Diploma in Buddhism course and the BA course on the approval of the university according to the university syllabuses. All examinations are conducted by the university. At the veginning the college faced the problem of getting lectures competent enough to teach Buddhist subjects in English. The college had to seek the assistance of foreign lecturers. Therefore from time to time, lecturers from Sri Lanka universities and Delhi University served the college as visiting lecturers. Now the college has 14 qualified lecturers including the Priciple Ven.Dr.P. Gnanarama. They are:
1. Ven.Dr.P. Gnanarama BA. Hons. MA. phD.
2. Ven.Dr. I. Indasara BA. Hons. MA. phD.
3. Ven. G. Udita BA. Hons. MA.
4. Bhikkhuni Hao Xiang vajira BA . Hons. MA.
5. Dr. Miss Gnana Ang MBBS. frcs. BA. Hons.
6. Atula Foo Hee How Bsc. BA. Hons. MA.
7. Ms Sylvia Bay BA. Bsc. BA. Hons. MA.
8. Anadna Ang BA. Hons. MA.
9. Mr. Kwok Wai BA.
10. Dr. Ms. Jenny Quek BA. (Hons) MA. phD.
11. Ms. Gina Lim BA. Hons. MA.
12. Ms Ng Lay Kieng BA. Hons. MA.
13. Apple Chow Woon Pheng BA.
14. Mr. Joseph Lee BA.
Other then the first four, the rest have done their BA and MA degrees at the college.
So far, the college has produced 140 Diploma holders, 60 graduates and 29 post graduates MA. degree holders. about six candidates have registered for ph.D. in Sri Lanka universities. One was awarded ph. D. last year from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. Since Buddhist and Pali University has been set up for the purpose of popularizing Buddhist and Pali studies, Pali is compulsory for the degree course. Some find if stressful to proceed with Pali as a main subject and tend to give up studies after Diploma.
Anyhow, at present we have quite a good number in the graduate and post-graduate classes as follows:
BA part I: 20
BA part II: 13
Almost all the students are Singaporean Chinese Buddhists. there are a few Indian, Sri Lanka and European students. At present there are two Sri Lanka Buddhist monks and a Catholic nun also following the courses.
Ms. Nancy Lim