Life Skills Education-Beneficial for Holistic Development of Child
Life skills are essential and integral part of education system. National Curriculum Frame work integrates all essential life skills. Educator integrates them in regular teaching learning process. S/he helps learners to identify them, learn those essential skills and implement them in real life situation. Educator sole aim is to fill the gap between textual knowledge and worldly knowledge. A wise educator correlates subjective knowledge in a real life context to develop life skills. It is possible by integrating two or more than two different subjects. Mathematics educator can integrate music or physical work while teaching mathematics.
Life Skills: Importance in Educational Experience
Life skills education seeks outcomes of changed attitude and behaviour.
Life skills education has been introduced in different ways in formal schools. NCF introduces life skills as a new subject and also integrated within the teaching practice and content of other subjects. It is also offered as extra or co-curricular activities.
Life Skills Curriculum:
Integrated life skills curriculum includes textual knowledge and skills; moreover it focuses on behaviour, attitudes and values.
Life skills curriculum is blended with students’ active participation, interactive teaching and learning methodologies.
Life Skills: Key concepts
- Life skills: Refers to a large group of psychosocial and interpersonal skills that can help people make informed decisions, communicate effectively, and develop coping and self-management skills that may help lead a healthy and productive life.(Nations Children’s Fund, ‘Life Skills: Definition of terms’, web page, <www.unicef.org/lifeskills/index_7308.html>, accessed July 2011.)
- Life skills education: Refers to educational interventions that seek to address the above areas.
- Life skills-based education: Is a combination of learning experiences that aim to develop not only knowledge and attitudes, but also skills (i.e., life skills) that are needed to make decisions and take positive actions to change behaviours and environments.2
- Skills focus: The focus on psychosocial capabilities for using knowledge (critical thinking, problem-solving), for being decisive and resilient (decision-making, motivation, resilience), and for living together (communication, empathy)
- Livelihood skills: Refers to income generation and may include technical/vocational skills (carpentry, sewing, computer programming), job-seeking skills such as interviewing, business management skills, entrepreneurial skills, and skills to manage money
Essential Life Skills: – Categories of Life Skills
Dealing with Stress
Learning life skills occur within and beyond a boundary wall of classroom. Parent, educator and society are crucial stakeholders to develop life skills. I find, ancient education system (Guru & Shisya tradition) was one of the fine example of developing life skills. Guru (educator) used to ask his disciples to arrange their own food or other things. Disciple used to face so many indifferent & intolerable situations to arrange, however they used to come up with various solutions to survive. Blending of academic activity into other various activities helped those disciples to lead successfully in various walks of life.
Ways of Acquiring Life Skills
- Acquisition of life skills is a continuous and comprehensive process. Learning life skills heavily depend upon parent, teacher, institutional curriculum and surroundings. Individual learns relevant life skills through active participation, observation, real life experience and incorporating learning in a real life context.
- Life skills are acquired through right learning and nurturing individual’s inherited capacity and latent capability.
- Life skills are acquired when we provide a platform or an opportunity for them to learn and practice.
- Individual learns life skills through awareness, alertness and by providing him/her required training i.e “it may happen”/right techniques to tackle”
- UNICEF’s ‘Life Skills Learning and Teaching: Principles, concepts and standards’, for instance, states that “alongside literacy and numeracy, life skills are essential learning outcomes of quality education.
United Nations Children’s Fund, Life Skills Learning and Teaching: Principles, concepts and standards, UNICEF, 2010.
Modern Education Systems develop and designs various interdisciplinary activities to instill and impart life skills. I firmly believe that, integration of life skills in pedagogical develops a learner into a fine human being.
Only a wise and a skilled educator can provide real ‘life skills’ learning experience to a learner otherwise an individual even learns something from a rikshapular, a beggar or a layman!
- World Health Organization, Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, <www.who.int/hpr/NPH/docs/ottawa_charter_hp.pdf>, WHO, 1986.
- 14 World Health Organization, Life Skills Education in Schools, WHO Programme on Mental Health, WHO, 1997.
- National Curriculum Framework( NCF,2005)