The key life skills we need

I REFER to the letter headlined “More beneficial than sex education...” (Express, December 19).
I agree with the author’s sentiments that young people should be given a much fuller range of life skills education than simply sexual or reproductive education, and that this would “be readily supported by most people and bring wide scale benefit”.
Such education and training should include understanding and appreciation of our own selves (in body, mind and spirit) and for those who have brought us this far.
It must include an appreciation for our own responsibility towards self-development, self-control, values clarification and moral reasoning (including understanding the value of virtues), goal-setting and time management, fitness (including nutrition, exercise and avoidance of substance abuse), stress management and citizenship—all part of “who I am”. These are called collectively intrapersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills affect the way we relate to and with others and our responsibility to self and others in building respectful and harmonious relationships, parenting and family life, understanding gender relationships, human sexuality and sexual health, managing anger and conflict resolution, community and leadership skills...
Other important skills that should be taught are communication skills in terms of living and working, family life and community; and employment and financial management skills, including ethics in the workplace and money management.
Then there are skills as they relate to understanding and interacting with our socio-economic and physical environments.
Such a course is accessible in the National Life Skills Education Programme—“Pathways to Living Well”— for the 16-plus age group. The curriculum with a workbook was launched earlier this year.
I know of this as I was privileged to have been a part of the team of collaborators on this project. Use of this course at every strata of society and for all ages over 15 to 16 years will, I strongly feel, be of benefit to individuals, communities and the nation as a whole, and has been lauded by those who have already begun to use it.
Doreen Anderson
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