The Social Service department is at the very heart the Doon School. Since its very inception, the school has been actively involved in social service and has sought ways to enhance this involvement. It strives to provide a range of social service opportunities that will allow its boys to expand their understanding of social issues and consider their role in finding solutions to community concerns. The Social Service department utilizes four “impact areas” to structure its programmes. These are children and youth, environmental protection and preservation, homelessness and hunger, and education and literacy. The Doon School’s pioneering work in this field has resulted in the government’s decision to introduce the concept of social service in to the Indian education system.
Since the 1930s, Doscos have regularly gone out to do work in villages in the Dun valley and have always responded with a helping hand to people across India affected by natural calamities like earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides and floods. The school has, over the years, adopted villages and worked with villagers in the construction of houses, community centres and school buildings, sanitation systems, energy efficiency systems, self-employment and small-scale irrigation systems. The Fathepur village developed by Doon School is a model village of HESCO (Himalayan Environmental Studies & Conservation Organization) that was highly appreciated by Agatha Sangma, Minister of State for Rural Affairs.
No education is complete without boys being made to feel for the underprivileged and marginalised, and The Doon School has always sought to inculcate a sense of service among the boys. The idea of giving of one’s time, money, effort and comfort forms the basis of the school calendar. The boys, many of whom come from privileged backgrounds, learn that they belong to an aristocracy of service, of wealth, privilege and position.
The boys are also involved with The John Martyn School, a village primary school set up in 1980s by our second headmaster, John Martyn (Padma Shree), at Salargaon Village.
The Doon School also promotes student environmental activism by saying ‘NO’ to plastic bags, by planting and by working with People for Animals. (PFA).
The Doon School is one of the regional spearheads of the Round Square Group of Schools and regularly participates in and hosts international service projects. In addition, the International Award for Young People (IAYP) programme which is run by the School is an encouragement for the boys to unequivocally take to social service.
We believe that our future projects will give more opportunities to the boys to integrate and elaborate heir knowledge, and increase the likelihood of transferring theoretical knowledge to actual practice. Increasingly boys are initiating their own projects and House projects are also being developed. Colleges abroad are particularly keen to see examples of social service and responsibility being created by individual boys themselves as sustainable models of development.
In 2014, there were over twenty-five different social service projects which were driven by the School. The school also launched its own publication.
For a Doon School boy, social service hours are mandatory for the award of the IAYP, the Creativity-Action–Service (CAS) programme of the International Baccalaureate, as well as the ICSE. Social service is also looked at as being of great importance by college admissions departments and it is an added advantage to boys heading to study in the US or the UK, as well as Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Round Square Association
The Round Square Association is based on the theories of experiential educational philosopher Kurt Hahn. His most famous pupil was HRH Duke of Edinburgh. Kurt Kahn believed that schools should have a greater purpose beyond preparing young people for college and university. The Doon School has been a member of Round Square since the mid-1980s. Dr. Hahn believed that it was crucial for boys to prepare for life by having them face it head-on and experience it in ways that would demand courage, generosity, imagination, principle and resolution. As a result, he felt that young people would become empowered and develop the skills and abilities to be the leaders and guardians of tomorrow’s world. Round Square schools are founded on a philosophy which embraces a series of six pillars or precepts which are summed up in the acronym IDEALS. They are Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. Students at the Round Square schools make a commitment to addressing each of these pillars through exchanges, work projects, community service and adventure. The overriding goal is to ensure the full and individual development of every boy as a whole person through the simultaneous realization of academic, physical, cultural and spiritual aspirations. In this activity, boys from our school participate in the following:
- Round Square Conferences (Regional & International)
- Round Square Social Service Projects ( Regional & International)
- Student Exchange Programme
- Environmental Awareness Programmes
- Membership of the Round Square complements the school’s commitment to DSMUN,
IAYP and the SUPW programmes
Round Square projects available to boys include Ladakh, Kathapathur, Bangladesh, Peru, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and Cambodia.