Pramith Ruwanpathirana (Royal College, Colombo) won a Silver Medal, Prasan Thurul (Jasheph Vas College, Wennappuwa) won a Bronze medal and Janidu Gunarathna (Royal College, Colombo) and Madhushani Rodrigo (Vishaka Vidyalaya, Colombo) won Merit awards at International Biology Olympiad 2012 held in Singapore from 8 to 15 July 2012. Over 230 pre-university biology students and 205 Jury members from 59 countries participated this competition.
These students were selected out of 2300 students who participate in Sri Lankan Biology Olympiad competition, conducted by Institute of Biology, in Collaboration with Sri Lankan Universities and Ministry of Education in June last year. Prof Hiran Amarasekera and Prof H G Nandadasa from University of Sri Jayewardenepura and Prof M J S Wijeyaratne from University of Kelaniya were also participated the completion as the Jury members.
International Biology Olympiad is an internationally conducted prestigious competition, in which bright students form countries all over the world compete for medals. The first International Olympiad was held in Eastern Europe in 1959 in Mathematics. The remaining disciplines quickly followed; Physics (1967), Chemistry (1968) and Informatics in (1989). Biology had its first Olympiad in 1990.
Some of the characteristics of the science Olympiads as compared with those for sports are that they are held annually and intended for secondary school students. The level of questions is above the standard for secondary school education in the world. The theoretical/practical questions are 5 hours long, each demands persistence and determination, as well as discipline. Gold medals are awarded not only to the top achiever but to the top 10% of participants. The Olympiad offers an opportunity for international exchange.