The Doon School, Dehra Dun
Doon is now chalking out a blueprint for the future with its most ambitious aim: to carve a place among the 10 best schools of the world.
COMMENTS PRINT
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How fundamentally right will the 93rd Amendment Bill be for India's children?
Free Speech: We Don't Need No Education?
Soma Wadhwa
Cover Story
Sans uniforms, classroom structures or set syllabi, alternate schools offer a healthier education environment
Archana Rai
How we went about it all -- the parameters and the process.
In Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata -- and the best residential schools all over the country.
Students are encouraged to donate—anything from a piece of soap to newspaper, which are sent en bloc to charity.
Sports are as de rigueur as extra-curricular activities like debating, elocution, dramatics and social work.
Students greet their teacher with a 'Gurubhyo Namaha' and in turn are blessed with a 'Sukhi Bhava'.
Excellence comes easy to this school courtesy its equal emphasis on studies and extra-curricular activities.
"Results are a priority but not our only focus. We believe in the all-round development of children, not just their intellect."
The school houses here go by names such as Gratitude, Honesty, Perfection and Truth.
cover story
Outlook surveys the country's best schools and finds out what gets them an A-list rating
Premchand Palety
Think of a 65-year-old residential school nestled in the Shivaliks that strives to serve the individual talent of every boy against an age-old system of regimentation. Think again of an institution modelled on the much-hallowed British public schools but doing away with the usual draconian regimes. That's Doon School. In its democratic environment, students take key decisions on various issues and learn to combine freedom with responsibility. More importantly, they develop a bond, the essence of a family that transcends hierarchies and set rules. It's indeed a home away from home for all the 500 boys who spend six crucial years of their adolescence amidst sylvan surroundings.

"We encourage all our students to believe they are stakeholders in the school. They are groomed to participate in the business of life working in a community," says headmaster John Mason. It's not surprising therefore to find a student waking up a housemaster for a midnight snack.

Handling so many adolescent boys is a challenging proposition and the housemasters, matrons and the tutors double up as guides, focusing on the various facets of personal development. Moreover, a discreet counselling service also delves into personal or inter-personal dynamics of living in residence.

The personal interaction—be it in the classroom or in the dinning room or even on the cricket field—nurtures the student-teacher relationship. Every class has a maximum of 24 students which makes it easier for the teacher to personally monitor individuals. "We prepare hand-written notes on each of the boys and invite parental feedback... It's like an extended family," says deputy headmaster Jayant Lal.

It's only after Class 6 that a child can get admission to Doon after a national-level written test and interview. Failing which you get a chance to sit for an exam again at Class 7 level. Annual fees amount to a little over Rs 1 lakh. The school's management also spends Rs 35 lakh annually on need-based scholarships from a Rs 4-crore corpus to make it accessible to all and is now also keen to look beyond scholastics and admit budding talents of the performing arts.

It has been a long endeavour to produce a youthful corps d'elite—from Rajiv Gandhi, Karan Singh, Vikram Seth, Arun Bharatram to Suman Dubey, Prannoy Roy and Roshan Seth. Doon is now chalking out a blueprint for the future with its most ambitious aim: to carve a place among the 10 best schools of the world.

COMMENTS PRINT
Cover Story
How fundamentally right will the 93rd Amendment Bill be for India's children?
Free Speech: We Don't Need No Education?
Soma Wadhwa
Cover Story
Sans uniforms, classroom structures or set syllabi, alternate schools offer a healthier education environment
Archana Rai
How we went about it all -- the parameters and the process.
In Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata -- and the best residential schools all over the country.
Students are encouraged to donate—anything from a piece of soap to newspaper, which are sent en bloc to charity.
Sports are as de rigueur as extra-curricular activities like debating, elocution, dramatics and social work.
Students greet their teacher with a 'Gurubhyo Namaha' and in turn are blessed with a 'Sukhi Bhava'.
Excellence comes easy to this school courtesy its equal emphasis on studies and extra-curricular activities.
"Results are a priority but not our only focus. We believe in the all-round development of children, not just their intellect."
The school houses here go by names such as Gratitude, Honesty, Perfection and Truth.
cover story
Outlook surveys the country's best schools and finds out what gets them an A-list rating
Premchand Palety
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