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Gurgaon school takes part in community services: Builds toilets, conduct surveys
Keeping in tandem with Kurt Hahn?s belief that schools should have a greater purpose beyond preparing young people for college or university, Pathways World school in Gurgaon cultivated the much needed momentum in students to prepare for life by having them face it directly and experience it in ways that would demand courage, generosity, imagination, principle and resolution.
In order to inculcitate such values, the School organised a Round Square Collaborative Service Project 2014 from 9 June to 16 June,2014. Round Square is a world-wide association of schools on five continents sharing unique and ambitious goals. Students attending Round Square schools make a strong commitment, beyond academic excellence, to personal development and responsibility.

35 students from schools across India and abroad participated in the project. The participating schools included Millenium School, Dubai; Assam Valley School, Assam; Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai and Genesis Global School, Noida apart from Pathways World School as the host school came together to build six toilets for girl students at Govt. Girls Sr. Sec School, Badshahpur and two units at Primary Boys School, Badshahpur.

In addition, the Boys school access road was paved by the students which is approximately 10 feet wide and 70 feet in length. Improvement of the water drinking station with tiling, making a trough, replacing taps and getting clean access to running water was part of the project. Closing and securing the rain water harvesting pits, which had been left precariously open and were as deep as 20 to 25 feet and metal grate access near the gate- with a deep drain to regulate the flow of running rain water are also on the agenda. Students constructed toilets in both the schools under the aegis of the Round Square Summer Project, whitewashed the front ground wall, carried out the plantation of trees.

This Project arose from something that the students had identified over the last 3 years as a part of their village surveys. The student body has been instrumental in ensuring that service is not only ?hand me down? but is actually identified by the partners in this journey ? on their need basis. To establish this, the students had designed a survey about health, hygiene and student enrolment in schools.

What emerged was that girls had a much higher ?drop out? rate as they moved from Middle to Senior School ? largely owing to lack of basic amenities for them to access toilets. This initiated a drive in and around the ridge to confirm and verify this fact and also ascertain the need.

''In the past 3 years, we have added toilets for girls in three neighbouring schools and are working at the current one ? which would be the fourth such school. This school is by far the largest in student enrolment as it has a catchment of 10 villages in the neighbourhood and a student population of 2000 girls in Senior/Senior Secondary category.

A well run school, it is well respected in the community, but has a dearth of toilets as there are only 3 toilets for 2000 persons, i.e. an average of 667 students/girls sharing 1 toilet. We intend to complete the task, with the help of our students, and some funding from Round Square, to add 6 more toilets in this school ? which will help ease the current ratios.

Additionally, we have also worked with a Boys Primary School which is also one of the older schools in Badshahpur and have given the school a total face-lift with our children even painting the walls with messages, multiplication tables and related educational material. But the most utilitarian part has been giving them an all season access road which was lacking until now,'' says Mr Sumit Dargan, Middle School Principal & Round Square coordinator, Pathways World School. Aravali.

The project was much appreciated by the Village Panchayat and the entire village community. The School staff and students were influenced and motivated and joined hands to work during the last phase of work. ?It is only in giving that we receive? With this firmly etched in minds in a schedule packed with activity that the students took an active interest in voluntary community service. Such Community service efforts, allow children to understand and appreciate the significance of their contributions to environment and lives of the underprivileged around them. 

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