Why Life Skills must be added to School Curriculums


Research done at Harvard University in 2011 suggests that adults with critical life skills are likely to be happier, professionally more successful, and enjoy a higher quality of life than those havingonly academic knowledge. Even though outcomes of school education is typically judged by scores in fact based subjects, but it isessential life skills that gives any person a definitive edge in their personal and professional lives. That is why, life skills must be incorporated into the school curriculums.

School-going children today are rigorously taught subjects in classrooms, yet what they learn is largely factual and doesn’t prepare them for real-world challenges that they eventually have to face as adults.  In the real-world beyond classrooms, decisions need to be made every day using limited information. Often such decisions have a strong human element. A fact-based education cannot prepare children to thrive in a world where decisions involving people need to be constantly made; only Life Skills can enable them to make the right decisions. Unfortunately, most school-going children are spending all the time memorizing academic subjects that leaves them grossly unprepared for real world challenges.

Why Life Skills must be taught to School Children

In every school today, students learn about lot of factual information bu they do not acquire very few skills besides reading, writing, and counting. Hence they face a skill gap when they venture into the real-world because reading, writing, and counting can only take them so far; beyond a point, it is life skills that give a decisive edge. The earlierthat life skills are introduced in the school curriculums,the better it is, because study after study has shown the human brain primarily hardwires itself between the ages of 6 to 16. Since worldwidemost children are in school between these age group,hence schools become an ideal period to learn life skills. Childrenwho acquire life skills between these ages will grasp them quickly and apply them appropriately in the real world, when required. 

Unlike facts that can be memorised and regurgitated, life skills are coded into the brain once for all and they influence the overall behaviour of individuals forever. So there is a strong case for transferring Life Skills to young children as part of their school curriculums.

Life Skills Open Up Tremendous Opportunities

Children who enter the real-world without life skills face many obstacles in their life. And as adults, they are less likely to become effective professionals, individuals, or even citizens. Life Skills, being holistic and integrative in nature, enable ordinary children to become ideal citizens, exceptional professionals, and balanced individuals.

State of Schooling Today

Today in schools, children are immersed in subjects and extracurricular activities such as sports. Most children, never get exposed to life skills as part of their curriculum and for the very few who who do,do so randomly and in an unstructured format. In short, life skills today are relegated to the background of school curricula even though they have the greatest potential to produce successful life outcomes.

Benefits of Life Skills

Because of the state of schooling today, students pass out without knowing how to manage themselves and the world around them. Life skills can teach them both by inculcating in them the ability to ‘manage self’ andby instilling in them leadership skills. Solidself-management skills are more essential than ever before because they help individuals tackle and overcome several day-to-day challenges. In the absence of solid self-management skills, students may waste time and be ineffective in following through with plans. Life Skills help develop student’s leadership skills which benefit students professionally and create able leaders fit to lead companies and nations. 

Life skills also teach teamwork, empathy, and ethics, each of which is essential to make society more prosperous and equitable.

What Should Students be Taught in Schools?

In schools, students are prepared for their future roles in society.  Schools prepare students tobecome individuals, professionals, social units, and in an increasingly globalised world, global citizens. Excelling in these roles demands excelling in real-life situations, and because most schools don't teach students how to excel in real-life situations, they aren’t preparing them to become individuals, professionals, social units, or global citizens.

Life skills are unique in that they cannot be learnt by memorization; rather can only be acquired while handling real-life situations. When children are taught life skills in schools while their brains are being hardwired, the skills they learn become ingrained. Therefore, a child who is taught economic life skills is perfectly capable of accompanying his or her parents to the marketplace and becoming an active shopper instead of an observer. New age life skills teach children how to use social media to their advantage and how to be productive in the virtual world.

School curriculums have remained largely unchanged for nearly 5 centuries, but during the same period, the human brain has tremendously evolved . For this reason, there is an urgent need to equip children with life skills as, without them, they will be unable to lead and manage the 21st century world,that awaits them in the years and decades ahead.

By Mr. Sidharth Tripathy (Chief Convener of Skillizen Olympiad Foundation)
Why Life Skills must be added to School Curriculums Why Life Skills must be added to School Curriculums Reviewed by Newzpot on 23:24:00 Rating: 5

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