Grad. Students Feature Stories

Should I Stop? I Have Decided the Answer...



Have you ever imagined being a PhD student amidst a global pandemic (not knowing when it will end) that encourages you to maintain social distance, especially when your study requires you to socialise as much as possible and collect data from social clusters by implementing an intervention in a country heavily affected by the pandemic?


(I belong to that category, and the whole situation has made me realise numerous unfair and avoidable differences in the health and academic sectors across different populations and between different groups within a society.)


I wanted to find out the possibilities of converting traditional classroom settings to active classrooms in Sri Lanka so that school children can become healthy. At the same time, the country would contribute by leveraging the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030 and its ACTIVE toolkit.


However, testing such a possibility is challenging now as Sri Lanka is suffering severely from the COVID-19 pandemic. None can predict when schools will reopen. Increased health- and education-related inequalities due to the pandemic have posed challenges to the implementation of my research project.


Since my research plan will only come in handy for a society where the pandemic is controlled, and in such society, all the educational institutes already have high tech solutions to teach, I cannot help but wonder if I should stop. Should I not be passionate about introducing active classrooms?


However, I have decided my answer. As a PhD research student, I must not stop pursuing my passion. I must find another solution as it is my responsibility to become inspired, confident, professional and ethical. HKBU facilitates knowledge creation and transfer by developing technology and serving the society. Thus, these days, under my supervisors' guidance, I am reading to find feasible and scientific methods to implement my research project even though the ongoing pandemic has created a lot of challenges. I am still hopeful!



Mrs. DEHIWALA LIYANAGE Ishanka Harshani Kusum Peiris

Current PhD student of the Department of Sport, Physical Education and Health. Her research focuses on Social Psychology in Sport and Leisure, Physical Activity and Wellbeing and Olympism.