A short history, an English headmaster, a mix of many contradictions, claims to pedigree, pressures of paying high fees and the consequent pushing off the more genteel classes by the new commercial and business tycoon families make this once proud imitator of the British model into India’s own new model.
The crack of a cricket bat upon ball, a tree line furled on a sunny afternoon, the bell calling languid boys to tea etc. are some of the golden memories of the British public schoolboy. But the hills in the distance are the Himalayas and the boys are all Indian. This is the Doon School, India’s most elite boarding establishment.
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Are they living up to their ideals?
Public schools are said to give the best education to youngsters from well-off economic and social backgrounds. Yes, this perception is right. These schools have been inherited from the British administrators who founded them in India. The British founded two types of public schools. Schools like the Lawrence schools were founded originally for children of the British soldiers and the army’s lower ranks. While the other category of schools like Mayo and Rajkumar were set up to educate Indian princely families. This latter category of schools was supposed to train children of upper class Indian feudal families with leadership qualities.
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