Why Life Skills Should Be Part Of Early Learning In School Curriculum

It is important to give students information and develop thinking and analysis based on action, so as to help them adapt to new situations and think creatively to succeed in the real world; that is where life skills play a major role

Have you ever thought how capable your child is in looking after themselves? Are children independent enough to make simple decisions? Have you thought about whether your child has been taught essential life skills to face the world?

Life skills are based on a lot of our experiences that are first hand or at least relatable. For example, teaching concepts like money without actually showing students the importance and how to budget, save or invest is never going to be useful when they grow up.

With the rapid changes and ever evolving science and technology there is a constant pressure for students to succeed without actually experiencing learning. Initial elementary years are a time when young minds begin to develop the way they perceive information. At such a time, it is important to not only give them information but to also develop thinking and analysis based on action, so as to help them adapt to new situations and think creatively to succeed in the real world. That is where life skills play a major role.

What are life skills?

The World Health Organisation defines life skills as, “A group of psychosocial competencies and interpersonal skills that help people make informed decisions, solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, build healthy relationships, empathise with others, and cope with and manage their lives in a healthy and responsible manner.”

Some of the core life skills, that go a long way in building their character, includes decision-making and problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, communication and interpersonal skills, self-awareness, empathy, time management, stress management resilience and coping with emotions.

The benefit of teaching life skills in schools in today’s rapidly evolving world

It has been noticed that there is a gap between the theoretical and practical world today and this is because of the lack of skills developed in children. Life skill development is a tool to empower children and to safeguard their future by providing them overall development in today’s era of globalisation.

Teaching life skills in schools helps students build confidence in communication and collaborative skills, provides them with the right developmental resources, find out of the box problem-solving solutions, gives them a way to communicate and develop relationships and teaches them accountability.

Life skills can be broken down into three parts:

Personal and Well-being - Personal and Well-being skills are the essential life skills we need to help maintain a healthy body and mind. These skills include resilience, self-control and self-awareness. They include skills such as how we recognise, manage and cope with our emotions.  

Creative arts - Creative art teaches students how to build their confidence, how to think out of the box, work collaboratively and how to receive constructive feedback. There are 10 essential creative skills that can be taught to students to achieve this. These include Public Speaking, Organic Farming, Music, Cooking, Theatre, Carpentry, Taekwondo, Art Education and Clay Modelling.

Physical education - Physical Education not only helps students maintain fitness, develop motor skills and muscular strength, but also often improves learning in other areas. Positive values such as sportsmanship, teamwork and honesty, and skills such as aiming for best personal performance, positive self-esteem and group participation are achieved by PE classes.

child’s innate thinking capabilities and individual creativity should be nurtured in an environment where core values are incepted as a part of their daily life.

How can life skills shape a child’s foundation years?

Life skills need to be taught at an early age and the ideal way to implement life skills is at school. At an early age students can be taught how to make effective decisions, handle peer pressure and set them up for success.

Research suggests a positive correlation between life skills and increased attendance levels, enhanced classroom behaviour and academic achievement. Given this correlation between life skills and learning, the role of life skills education within school curriculum becomes vital.

At this stage they also begin to develop decision making skills and values which help them shape their life. The knowledge and skills that students gain in academics and personal areas of their life become the foundation for success in career and community.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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