Message from the Chairman of the Board
Message from the Chairman of the Board
Dear Fellow Doscos,
It is a great honour and responsibility to chair the Board of Governors for the next five years. I’m grateful to members of the IPSS for asking me to succeed Gautam Thapar.
The School has diligently implemented the Development Plan that was designed after much deliberation about eight years ago. For the coming years, we hope to continue this broad approach, and introduce some new initiatives.
In recent discussions, many of us have articulated the need to trigger a shift that will help India’s best school be counted amongst the best, anywhere in the world.
One of the major initiatives of the IPSS Board and the school will be to enhance the Doon School status as an ‘Elite’, needs-blind Institution, that seek to attract the best talent from around the country. Simultaneously, the effort will be build a diverse pool of parents and guardians who send their wards to the school.
Cultivating this “more inclusive’’ image necessitates a substantial corpus. The earned income from the corpus should be enough to provide scholarships to assist those students and parents who are unable to pay the full school fee. The fee, in the meantime, will continue to be pegged to cover the full cost of operating the school along with attendant costs.
At the same time, the Doon School will continue to develop a vigorous admission process. Among the planned new initiatives, there will be an effort to bring students from multiple regions and language backgrounds, and to develop an even stronger student exchange program.
To ensure that our boys get into good universities in India and overseas, academics will now be more intensely hardwired into the school development plan. It is especially important that we finetune a robust system that suits the requirements and aspirations of all students and parents.
Yet, the Doon School is not an assembly line; the aim of this institution never was, and should never be, to produce crammers. Therefore, students must have many more opportunities to take decisions in school activities; this will allow them to make and learn from mistakes, feel empathy and gain confidence.
I also feel that students need much more exposure to real life issues and challenges to ask the right questions; think independently; and balance the complexities of life. Therefore, many more outside experts and speakers must be brought in to widen their horizons.
As the education environment around the world evolves, what will separate good institutions from great ones is the ability to attract teaching talent through the right work environment, living conditions and compensation structure. Hence, the School’s focus will be on two areas: to develop a continuously flowing pipeline of fresh talent—and to ensure that the existing talents can upskill through a mix of training, coaching exposure and counselling.
Though the School infrastructure is currently adequate and amongst the best available, there is still a need to add and restructure a few more facilities. Plans in this area are under consideration.
The intent going forward will also be to ensure that the facilities are optimally used, with more emphasis on operations, maintenance and upkeep. For example, investments in technology need to be supported with appropriate coaching and counselling of teachers and faculty — so that the entire ecosystem is adaptive and responsive to change.
As many of the projects under the school’s current development plan are complete, it is time to create a suitable plan for the next 10 years. This will make the School truly future-ready and allow it to be measured against, and recognised, amongst the leading institutions globally. Besides creating physical infrastructure, any plan that we execute must focus on the value system — EQ, IQ, and health (both physical and mental) — so that a happy and productive environment continues to build a pipeline of future leaders.
Some of these plans can be implemented quickly, others will need time. So, the aim of the Board, the school management and its dynamic headmaster Matthew Raggett, will be to work together, set priorities, and put together an efficient and executable action agenda.
In the meantime, my priority would be to ensure that the momentum generated by the previous leadership team is sustained. I look forward to working with you as we progress towards a Doon School Century and build one of the truly great Institutions in school education in the world.
Sunil Kant Munjal