Kaizen High’s Vision for Gap Year Students
Kaizen High aims to provided targeted curricular and co-curricular opportunities to gap-year students who otherwise suffer from the lack of dedicated opportunities, guidance and direction in this regard. (SUMMARY)
Amongst educational circles in Pakistan, gap years for students before university are generally looked down upon. Despite the fact that such a break from the constant academic rigor of over a decade may provide a student a much-needed emotional and intellectual respite, as well as allow for various opportunities to grow through travelling and work experience, it is felt that students must go immediately to college after finishing their A-levels or passing their Intermediate exams. However, wishful thinking aside, a large number of students in the country, for financial and academic reasons, are not able to enroll in college immediately after the end of their high school. While statistical research on this front is not available, it would be safe to suggest that about 10-15% of the student body in schools ends up taking a gap year before attending university.
Unfortunately, however, this is a demographic that is almost never explicitly catered to. It is worthy of note that some of the finest educational institutions of higher learning in the US recognize the need to incorporate such students within their general educational framework. Dartmouth College provides an illustrative example in this regard. It is important to learn from such focus and transpose these lessons to the Pakistani educational context by taking steps to prepare gap year students for life at college and beyond.
The Kaizen High Board of Directors, as a unique high school in Lahore, recognize the need to extend an educational welcome to students taking a gap year before University. We remain cognizant of the fact that often, motivated by a variety of different factors, such students are thrown in an educational limbo, and not extended the support necessary for them to realize their educational and career goals as well as their true potential. To this end, during their gap year, Kaizen High, as the top High School in Lahore, tries to facilitate gap year students’ educational and career choices by encouraging them to take a diverse set of subjects and/or electives offered through the Octo-learning initiative. As a part of its graduation requirements, Kaizen High wishes for students to have taken courses in the humanities if they are STEM students and vice versa. Kaizen High also requires students to take courses that cultivate soft skills such as research, creative writing, academic writing and money management – skills that are critical for students to take the most out of their college experience. It is hoped that by catering to this demographic, such a talented crop of students will be nurtured through a blend of academic and co-curricular offerings that will place them in good stead at college and beyond. Through providing world-class career counselling that paves the way for admission in universities abroad, Kaizen High makes it easier for gap year students to secure University Admissions. Its dedication can be gleaned from the fact that it continued to provide A-level learning in Covid-19, a tumultuous time for most students.