20 May 2012

Year On Campaign

Author: hashcookies | Filed under: Taleemnet

The Year On campaign seeks to encourage youth to consider taking a gap year for self-reflection, travel, practical experience and community engagement. The reason for calling it a “Year On” is to challenge the common misperception that children waste a year if they take a gap year. So rather than take a year off, we suggest taking a year on.

This campaign is timely and relevant for 3 reasons:

1) It is currently exam season and there is a lot of pressure on students.  A year on is a great antidote to this pressure.

2) Major universities from around the world, such as Harvard University, have started encouraging students to take a gap year before admissions. They feel that students who have taken a year on are more mature and can better avail of opportunities at the university level. http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/apply/time_off/index.html

3) As part of this campaign in India, several school principals and guidance counselors from well-known educational institutions such as:

Mirambika, the Valley School, Riverside School, have started voicing their expert opinions that it is very beneficial on both pedagogical and social levels if the student takes a gap year. They feel that the gap year after 8th or 10th or 12th or during college should be an essential part of the

students’ educational programme for the 21st century. It promotes the students’ capacities for self-designed learning. Also these principals are willing to allow students re-admission to their schools after the gap year.

Currently the biggest barrier to the year on concept is the parents. They are afraid to let the children have any space to think for themselves. They also feel that the children will waste time in a gap year if they are not supervised/controlled by a full-time teacher. We are hoping to change this perception of the parents through the year on campaign.

We have recently developed the following blog to support students in their year on explorations.     http://yearon.wordpress.com/

This blog has several testimonials, resources, posters on the topic.

There is also a very beautiful book, Free from School, written by Rahul Alvares and published by Other India Press, which highlights the learning adventures of a student when he takes a year on after 10th. Foreign produced Teenage Liberation Handbook (e-copy on this website) is also an excellent resource.

Unlike many international gap year programs, there are no fees to join the Year On campaign. We believe that there is an abundance of learning resources in India just waiting to be tapped into. Some of these are shared on the blog. There also are several mentors listed who are willing

to counsel youth/parents on their gap year options in the spirit of the gift culture.

We sincerely hope that you can help us spread this option to interested youth and parents as we believe that it will create a significant ripple in the education system.

Contact Manish Jain if you need any further information

Shikshantar: The Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development

83 Adinath Nagar, Udaipur, Rajasthan, 313004 INDIA

Tel: 91-294-245-1303

Web: www.swaraj.org/shikshantar

Skype: manishjainudaipur

Email: manish@swaraj.org

Comments are closed.