In India, schools follow a basic curriculum that has been in place for many years. We’ve all seen the traditional method of displaying education in our schools: each class has about five subjects, students take exams twice a year and are promoted to the next class based on their performance, and some are even awarded trophies and medals.
However, because the information available on the internet is unfiltered, it has ushered in a complex information age characterised by a wide range of stimuli. It has the potential to destabilise young people’s emotions.
It’s difficult to deal with the misinformation, cyberbullying, and other negative consequences that children face in today’s world.
There are two major global trends that present our educational system with a fundamental challenge – as well as numerous opportunities. One is that the world is transitioning from an industrial to a knowledge-based economy. The other is that the younger generation, which has grown up with the Internet, has a very different motivation to learn
That is why, now more than ever, kids and young adults require real-life skills empowerment.
These types of all-encompassing skills can’t be learned solely at home, especially since children often spend more time at school.
Consider a group of young people who have excelled in school but have no idea how to deal with the realities of life. What if they weren’t able to communicate clearly? Or were you always in debt because you couldn’t manage your money?
It’s both alarming and all-too-common at the same time. As a result, both parents and teachers must play an active role in preparing children for the future.
In terms of the school, this entails more than just teaching algebra and biology. While no one can deny the value of good grades, they are insufficient without the necessary life skills.
What are the Life Skills Subjects that can be taught in school?
1. Keeping up with basic hygiene
Personal hygiene includes basic life skills such as how to use a toilet, properly wash hands, eat with etiquette, iron your clothes, and so on. Though some schools are aware of the problem and are taking steps to address it, the majority of schools are still failing to include this skill in their curriculum.
2. Mental Health and Self-Awareness
Young people can better understand who they are and what they want out of life by learning life skills.
Furthermore, young people become more aware of their own struggles as well as the struggles of those around them.
In fact, according to an American Psychological Association study, teens’ average stress level was 5.8 (on a scale of ten), which is significantly higher than the maximum healthy stress level for adults, which is 3.9.
Young people who are aware of this are better able to cope with their circumstances and recognise when they require assistance. Bullying and violence are reduced as a result of this.
3. Financial Literacy
Students in math and economics classes are rarely taught how to manage money effectively.
Many high school graduates don’t know how to manage credit cards, file taxes, or balance cheque books when they graduate. As we move towards digitisation, we’re not talking about stocks and major finance, but rather the basic process of opening bank accounts. Because there are so many platforms for making transactions on the market, it’s critical that we teach these skills in school so that people don’t make mistakes.
Student Loans-Do you think it’s rocket science when someone mentions an education loan? Rocket science may appear to be simpler at times. Even adults struggle to comprehend the process of obtaining education loans. Even parents were not taught about this one topic, so it should be included in the curriculum.
Taxation-Although everyone is required to file taxes, few people are aware of how to do so. According to a survey, 65 percent of adults have struggled with tax filing and have had to pay a significant amount of money to the California Department of Revenue for the most basic filing. Isn’t it true that no one really understands how to file taxes?
Learning how to manage money at a young age will aid children in navigating these complexities.
4. Encourage positive communication and interaction.
Students learn to speak clearly and assertively while respecting the opinions of others by learning communication skills. Furthermore, they learn effective listening skills as well as appropriate responses, such as tolerance and open-mindedness. This will enable them to form healthy bonds with their family and friends. Furthermore, these abilities will assist students in forming healthy connections in the workplace and in society.
It’s all too easy to dismiss communication as common sense, but it isn’t. As a result, a good life skills programme is essential for student success and the preparation of young people for the future.
5. Gender Stereotype
This term is so overused on the internet that it’s almost meaningless. One of the reasons for this is that such education is not provided in schools. A child is exposed to gender stereotyping from the moment he is born, whether consciously or unconsciously.
6. Identifying true talent and passion
The Indian Education System trains the children to participate in the regular rat race that has been going on for decades. They are not encouraged to think different or to pursue their passion except for some. Hence we see one Sachin Tendulkar, or one P.V. Sindhu or one M.F. Husain. However though we know that our children holds the capabilities to various talents and passion, we as parents and teachers are apprehensive about it and do not let them pursue it. The first and the only thing most Indian children learn in school is to follow the crowd and enter the labour market.
7. Decision Making Skills
Life is a series of choices, including major ones such as who to spend your life with, whether or not to have children, and which career path to pursue.
Then there are the minor decisions, such as what to wear or what to eat for dinner. Every decision we make, no matter how insignificant, has the potential to change our lives.
It is critical for students to learn how to make informed and confident decisions.
8. Household Repairs/Maintenance
Do you know how to fix a pipe or replace a bulb? What do you do when your motor pump stops functioning? We are sure that you land up doling out 500 bucks for a work that can be completed within 5 minutes. This is exactly where the need to learn some household maintenance work comes into picture. Moreover, the development of this skill will boost the confidence of children and they will be able to manage a household from a very early age along with learning to stay alone without depending on their parents or anyone for that matter. Last but not the least basic cleaning skills should be taught to students, and they should be encouraged to assist their parents with household chores.
9. Peer Influence
Unfortunately, most teenagers are ill-equipped to make decisions and are easily swayed by peer pressure. For example, regardless of their schoolwork, kids may choose to skip class because the cool kids are doing so.
This is something that a comprehensive life skills programme can help with. Children learn the value of self-reflection and taking responsibility for their actions through the Positive Action programme. Teaching young people how to assess situations from both a logical and emotional standpoint will help them make better decisions.
10. First Aid Training
Consider how different a situation would be if everyone knew how to administer basic first aid. It could be a car accident, a family member in need of assistance, or any other unfortunate incident; if someone knows how to stop a bleed properly, perform basic tests, or lift a patient, they can be such a valuable resource and help as a citizen.
11. Presence of Mind
Training the children to develop the ability to handle a situation or to demonstrate a presence of mind is one of the most essential skills to be taught in school. Give them various mock situations and mould them to handle it with confidence and common sense. This will help them survive anywhere and in any given circumstance.
12. Self Defense
Self Defense classes are held in Indian schools, but either they are a paid training or it is not compulsory. Be it a girl or a boy, both the genders should be well trained to handle any unfortunate attempt against them especially in the current scenario when the crime rate against children is an all time high in our country.
“By education I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man; body, mind and spirit.”