Gapping after high school or dropping as its more commonly called isn’t really a new concept in India. People have been doing for a really long time but for reasons other than personal growth. The craze of IIT’s is so huge that people gap and year and just prepare for JEE (The IIT entrance exam). In fact, India even has cities that thrive only on these kind of gappers a case in point Kota, Rajasthan.
But what is wrong if students want to gap an year and do some personal growth activity, or just travel, or do anything else before starting their college education?
I dont see anything wrong, in fact I feel gapping for non-educational reasons is something everyone should do before college. I feel that it makes you ready for college. It also increases the likelihood of the student taking up a course that he or she is passionate about coz let’s admit it high school pass outs aren’t really aware of the world and the system.
Then why does DU discriminate against gap years? Delhi University has this rule that Gap years are allowed only do academic and only a few professional courses. Popular professional courses like BFIA, BBS and BBE are not even open for students who have gapped. Why is our education system so weird? Isn’t it better for a college if they get more focused students?
And not just DU, a lot of other colleges and universities look down on people who have gapped in their lives. A lot of engineering colleges have a GPA requirement for doing anything non-academic , this is good except the fact you would rarely find an 8 pointer on the field. But the good part is that the situation is improving at least in the job markets. If a candidate has a good reason for gapping, then its not counted as a negative for his job prospects.
This is in sharp contrast to the trend in the US where gapping is encouraged and its an advantage in your application. We don’t have this in here also because our colleges admit students based only on their academic qualification unlike other places abroad where they also consider other aspects. Unless you apply through ECA or sports quota which have a few seats reserved for them and this is only in the case of Academic universities like DU. Professional Colleges don’t even have a sports or an ECA quota. They have something even worse, the management quota i.e. you can pay to get admission.
I fail to understand the rationale behind such an admission policy. We should be encouraging holistic personalities and not one faced individuals. Our universities look for specialized students. They look for exceptional students in studies or sports or ECA. But if you are well rounded in all, you are just not good enough. C’mon we are human beings not machines. What is a programmer with no inter personal skills or no managerial quality?
Also, don’t we need socially responsible youth? What’s a better way to achieve this than catching them young and letting them experience the real underdeveloped belly of India first hand? (usually most people gap an year and volunteer at other places or join a a program like IndiaCorps)
It is time our education system revamps itself and fortunately, the process has already begun with the introduction of grading and semester system in DU but there is still a long way to go.
It is really important that our education system becomes one of the best coz otherwise our demographic advantage of a huge young population will become disaster whose scale we can’t even imagine. As it is, we are no able to educate everyone and even those who are getting the education are getting such low levels of education that they are barely employable. Something needs to be done and done fast. And favoring well-rounded students is one of the first steps that should to be done.
NOTE: The only reason I have quoted US universities is coz US has the best innovation culture in the whole world and their universities are a major reason for it. They have the best universities and that’s why they attract the best talent. I am not saying we have to follow the American system but we can learn a lot from their methods and even more from their mistakes.
What do you say about our education system? Did you ever wish something was different? Do share your thoughts