16-year-old Takes Break After Class 10, Writes Book 'My Unskooled Year'

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Sagarikka wrote a book, made documentary films and worked with different companies during her break.

Chennai: 

Highlights

  1. 16-year-old felt she wasn't ready for academic pressure of the next class
  2. Wrote a book about her experience, made 2 short films during 'gap year'
  3. 'Learnt more during that one year than the 13 years at school,' she said
Taking a year off before college or a gap year is nothing new. But a year-long break after Class 10 isn't something we often hear about. Sixteen-year-old Sagarikka wanted to take some time off after Class 10 as she felt she wasn't ready for the academic pressure of the next class. The result was amazing, say her parents, who supported her decision.

Ms Sagarikka wrote about her experiences in her debut book, My Unskooled Year.

The girl from Trichy, who runs a blog as well, interned with companies, sold products, invested in stocks, made two documentary films -- one on Mount Kailash, another on Leh based on her visits. She had also made an animation for her dad's company during this period.

Her parents, both academic trainers, chalked out a schedule for her academic learning so that she didn't lose touch.

"I learnt much more during this one year than what I had in the 13 years at school," she said.

The opportunity for experiential learning through visit to industries, she said, sharpened her understanding. When she went back to school, she topped in her class.

"It was an unconventional decision. Had we pushed her to Class 11, she would have lost interest in studies. But now she is very confident, the experiment has worked," said her father S Sivakumar, who had to face criticism from the family and friends when the couple said yes to her plan.

At the end of every chapter in the book, the parents have added tips. Her mother S Savitri suggested, "It would be a great idea if schools make this one year break part of the curriculum."

Sagarikka, who is a Computer Science student, wants to study in the US. Many institutions have invited her to motivate others.

 

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