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Needed in the education system

Aug 29,2017 - Last updated at Aug 29,2017

A high percentage of public and private high school students graduate with solid knowledge in mathematics and sciences, but many often lack basic life skills needed after graduation.

Those include: knowledge of laws and regulations, time management (respecting deadlines), handling emergencies, budgeting and money, planning for the future, setting short- and long-term goals, handling and accepting conflicting ideas, public speaking and the art of networking, all life skills that contribute greatly to one’s success.

I believe a mandatory subject should be added to the curricula, named “Life skills”, that could be taught throughout the high school years and cover the topics stated above.

Students should be taught and tested on the Jordanian Constitution. Schools should invite senators to meet the students and teach them about the Constitution.

Students should also be taught and tested on labour laws. Many people enter the workforce unaware of their rights. When one is not informed or ill informed about one’s rights, one might use unconstitutional methods to obtain them.

The laws in the Constitution cover a wide range of issues. Lack of knowledge of their existence may lead to the laws not being implemented.

The best way to empower citizens is to teach them their rights. If the youth are informed of laws and rights, the culture of obeying laws will take root.

Students also need to be financially literate; know how to take a loan and pay it off, and how to read through an insurance policy.

Also, credits (bonus grades) could be given to high school students if they work while attending school.

Students should not wait until they reach or graduate from university to start getting internships and experience the corporate or public working environment. By starting early, they could get an early feel of what they would like to specialise in university time.

As part of the private sector’s corporate social responsibility programme, companies should allocate internship slots all year round to high school students. Private institutions that do a specific number of training for public schools could enjoy tax reductions.

In order for true educational reform to take place, the private sector and public schools should have partnerships wherein they also network with the youth and mentor them in the art of public speaking and debate.

At 18, youth are legally entitled to open personal bank accounts. Bank and insurance company employees should make field visits to schools explaining financial and insurance basics to students so that when they graduate and are legally allowed to conduct transactions, they are aware of the best practices and ways of going about financial businesses.

Our educational system is really good at providing strong academic knowledge, but less so when it comes to life skills, which should be rightfully taught to each Jordanian.

  

The writer, an MBA holder from the University of Texas at Arlington, works in social development. She contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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Comments

The life skills the author is referring to should begin in at the pre-school level. Learning how to care for one's self, including cleanliness habits are standard skills that all children need. While it is commendable to teach a young child basic education at a young age, time would be better spent teaching them how to care for themselves, interpersonal skills, and manners.

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