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Gap-year tough on students

Taking a year off can be the most positive psychological and emotional booster for students. And pursuing a hobby or working somewhere will drive the person to achieve something, says Abdul Mabbod, director, Snehi, a voluntary organisation.

education Updated: Jun 13, 2006 13:07 IST

Ever wished you could take a long break after school? Take a year off and travel, work in another country or just pursue a passion? “I wish that was possible,” said Anu Vee, who has passed out from the Convent of Jesus and Mary.

“But taking a gap year is considered sacrilege in India. People will assume you are a bad student or didn’t get admission.” The stigma attached with gap-year students is an old story.

Last year, a student was allegedly refused admission by Ramjas College because he had taken a year off. The college claimed that the medical certificate provided by the student was fake.

S K Vij, Dean, Students’ Welfare in DU said the university does not stipulate that students produce proof of what they were doing during the past one year. But most colleges are strict.

“We have to see what the student has been up to,” said SRCC principal PC Jain. Kanika Khandewal, media coordinator at Lady Sri Ram College, said the trend has yet to come in India.

“We’ve never had a case of a student who has taken a year off as a stress buster or for work,” said. “Most are preparing for entrance exams.”

SMART BOX
The odds
• Stigma attached to gap-year students in India
• Assumption is that the student is not good enough or didn’t get admission
• In DU, gap-year students treated at par with others
• Most colleges give freshers preference over gap-year students