Benchmarking other schools – by Vijay Stokes

Benchmarking Other Schools – Anecdotal input from a Doon School alumnus

Vijay K. Stokes
Rivaz 1948-1954

Rather than to continue to look for collaboration or guidance just from schools in the UK, such as Marlborough College, it makes sense to also benchmark what other well-known schools in India are doing—an exercise that may help BCS to better develop a vision for its future. 

In this spirit, here is an input from an alumnus of The Doon School who was my classmate in Banaras Engineering College (1957-61). In August 2010 I had written to him to say, “As an alumnus of The Doon School, you might get a kick out of an article that I wrote on the occasion of the first 150 years of Bishop Cotton School.” Here is an excerpt from his response:

I have read your article on BCS and agree with you to quite a degree, but perhaps the changing world also means some loss of pure Indian culture and a mixing of it with other cultures. And perhaps, this is not a pollution but a rejuvenation of sorts. … One thing I must say is, that the Doon School never seemed Anglicized to me—we always had a dual curriculum of Indian and western music, arts, theatre, etc., and all our prayers and hymns were sung in Hindi and were Hindu. Almost a 100% of the students were Indian. Many of our teachers were Britons, but were required to attend the prayers at assembly each morning. We were also required to go into the villages and help local people build homes and schools and clear land for farming, and even teach at their schools. It was quite different, however, at my previous boarding school—the Oak Grove School in Mussouri—which was for the employees of the then East Indian Railways, and was very British indeed when I was there from 1948 to 1951 and only about 25% of the students were Indian.”