Make living skills a school subject

GOING back to basics. This is what the pandemic has propelled many of us to do.

During the movement control order (MCO), dining out was not permitted. This prompted many to start cooking at home, and health became a priority.

With an impending recession, we suddenly realise the importance of financial planning and a positive mindset to weather through adversity.

We have also realised the importance of basic skills that can help us cope with the drastic changes in life.

These include cooking, financial literacy, healthy diet, interpersonal relationship and positive thinking – all of which are critical in daily life but often overlooked.

Our parents are probably well trained when it comes to living skills, but with a stronger emphasis on academic performance, many of these mundane skills took a back seat for the current generation of children.

Young ones now spend most of their time on linguistics, Science and Mathematic subjects, and are graded based on their examination scores.

The school system has not trained them on essential life skills.

In school, we must allocate time to inculcate virtues among the students by action rather than grading them with examination.

Student can do projects like thanking the frontliners during this pandemic and spreading positive words on the social network rather than hate speech or misinformation.

Teachers should also share success stories of individuals who show positive virtues such as courage, confidence, and resilience that can serve as motivation to students to prepare for adversity.

Taking a cue from Japan, living skills should be incorporated into our school syllabus as a compulsory lesson.

Students should be taught how to select healthy food and cook simple meals for their daily diet.

Many Malaysian youths tend to spend beyond their means, with as high as forty-seven percent of them having high personal credit card debts.

Hence, they should be exposed to financial literacy and learn the impact of saving money early, especially to prepare for rainy days like this current Covid-19 pandemic.

The future of work won’t be just about the degree but more about skills. We need to go back to basics to instil living skills among our children in the school systems.


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