The education system

In today’s world, most countries’ educational systems place a greater emphasis on exam success than on actual teaching. As a result, students may do well on exams but leave class unable to deal effectively with the pressures and challenges of the real world. When confronted with a problem or misunderstanding, stepping into society as a young adult can be perplexing and frightening. As a result, young people in the workplace and other areas of life become frustrated, stressed, and unproductive. However, the educational system should be able to assist students in developing their future skills, such as interacting with people in society and in the workplace, as well as problem-solving and decision-making efficiency. Life skills are essential for making satisfactory initial steps into the adult world and being able to fulfill the expectations.

In a rapidly changing world, it is paramount that young adults follow the changes and develop skills that enable them to deal with daily life challenges and problem-solving, be productive, and live independently in the society. These life skills require nurturance and careful development from a tender age when it is easier to learn something new while still young unlike when the years have advanced (Morgan).

Life skills range from personal, social and occupational skills, primarily based on finding and keeping an employment, and practical or daily living ones such as washing, cooking, making and managing the personal budget. (Throop and Castellucci) Students can learn it more efficiently and effectively when they are integrated into the school curriculum and extra curriculum activities. Life skills should, therefore, be taught in schools as a way of molding the student to be all rounded and flexible.

Incorporating Life Skills into School Curriculum

The primary component of any curriculum is to prepare students to become competent and responsible adult in the future and ensure a smooth transition in life. This transformation can only be successful if students are beneficiaries of a life skills curriculum. Because the time spent by students in school with their teachers is compared to that with their parents or guardians, it is more reliable and practical to have a life skill program than letting parents teach their children life skills.

A curriculum that promotes the group work and discussions nurtures and develops the students’ skills in teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and interpersonal relations, which are necessary for advancement in the work industries. Many employers today look for an individual who can handle the clients professionally with excellent communication skills and efficiently pass relevant and useful information. A young adult who benefited from the constant exposure to teamwork while in school will have a higher chance of qualifying, unlike the one who had no such experience. Schools also provide a better platform for the development of social and personal skills through interactions with others from diverse backgrounds. They can build strong and lasting relationships, acquire positive behavior and develop good moral values, enabling students to be helpful in the society. (Wiedemann, Wendy, Ea, Semine and Birgitte)

Teachers have a higher responsibility in teaching students to be good communicators by encouraging them to engage and participate actively in debates, helping them express themselves and present their arguments. Hence, such students would have no problems when it comes to explaining themselves before a panel during a job interview in the future.

The introduction of computer, music, arts, design, and home science classes in schools curriculum helps young people to acquire knowledge and skills in these areas, equipping themselves for their future careers and responsibilities as adults. They will also gain the technical skills required to operate a computer or play a musical instrument such that when well-nurtured and trained. As well, they can become self-employed, independent and responsible members of the society. Through the home science classes, students can learn various home arts including cooking, decoration, and house-keeping skills.

Integrating Life Skills into Extra-Curricular Activities

Extra-curricular activities are those done outside the regular classroom environment. These events are essential in developing the student’s talents and capabilities. At the same time, they help to acquire new skills through learning and practice. Actual performance of a skill enhances its retention and the learning process; therefore, when schools give students the chance to do specific activities, they learn faster and better than through theories.

Assigning students activities such as cleaning the classroom, arranging the library, keeping the teacher’s desk neat or photocopying materials enables them to obtain the necessary skills including organizational ones. The participation of students in contests such as arts, drama, and singing improves their ability to interact and communicate with others and builds their self-confidence. Apart from classroom learning, the students also develop their talents and capabilities that they can transform later in life to start their career, hence providing their source of living (Throop and Castellucci).

Counterargument

Some people claim that parents should take the responsibility to teach their children life skills. However, busy schedules mean that sufficient time for the training is unavailable. Likewise, parents may not possess the proper skills to promote the knowledge of their children. Schools solve this issue by ensuring all learners acquire this information. Young adults are facing diverse challenges that need solutions and without a proper foundation on problem-solving while in school, they are likely to be unable to resolve them efficiently. Hence, life skills on behavior change and decent living are also essential for them, with programs such as peer counseling and sex education as the part of non-curricular activities. They should be able to understand their sexuality and the dangers of living irresponsibly. Young adults with proper knowledge and skills on these issues can be very productive in the society with the ability to face challenges boldly and find solutions to them, therefore being prominent in the crowd. Encouraging and supporting students in the various school clubs nurtures their life skills including financial and stress management by sharing their experiences with other members, hence making them learn from one another.

Conclusion

Teaching life skills in school should begin from the elementary institutions when the students are still very young; hence, it becomes easier to create these life skills. Thus, the life knowledge they would obtain in either primary or high school should help them become responsible young adults in the society. Such education enables young people to be well-prepared for the world outside the classrooms, where they will have skills in effective communication, assertiveness and politeness, keeping their emotions in control, problem-solving, and stress management.

When students are taught on life skills together with the regular school curriculum, it creates a generation of active, confident and responsible young adults who will benefit the society. Life skills are, therefore, crucial in developing a nation in all its sectors through character building and preservation of cultural norms and values, where schools act as the best avenue for obtaining such knowledge.

Works Cited

Morgan, Carol. “Why Don’t We Teach Life Skills in our Schools?” Huffpost, 2016, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-carol-morgan/why-dont-we-teach-life-sk_b_9662958.html. Accessed 9 Nov. 2017.

Parmar, Reshef. “Life Skills.” Life Skills Education, 2013, http://resheflsedu.blogspot.ug/2013/01/meaningtypes-history-of-life-skills.html. Accessed 9 Nov. 2017.

Throop Robert K. and Marion B. Castellucci. Reaching Your Potential: Personal and Professional Development. Cengage Learning, 2010.

Wiedemann, Nana, Ager Wendy, Suzanne Ea, Brorson Semine and Yirgen Birgitte . Life Skills: Skills for Life. Copenhagen: Internationaal Federation of Red Cross, Red Crescent Scoieties Reference Centre or Psychosocial Support, 2013.

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