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Relationship Between Teaching Life Skills And Pupil Empowerment Education Essay

The aim of this research is to look at the relationship between your coaching of life skills and learner empowerment. THE EARTH Health Organization (1997) defines life skills as "the capabilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life" and the planet Bank (2007) identifies empowerment as the "process of enhancing the capacity of people or teams to make options and to convert those alternatives into desired activities and outcomes".

The central position is that the teaching of life skills to adolescents through a Health insurance and Family Life Education (HFLE) program does impact and enhance their behaviour (Elias, 1991; Griffin & Svendsen, 1992; Caplan et al. , 1992; and Tolan & Guerra, 1994). The execution and diagnosis of life skills programs conducted globally, regionally and in Trinidad and Tobago are mentioned and the positive and negative effects is presented. The books will also show that skill-based programmes inculcate lifelong beliefs which promote the development of students as lively members of culture (Elias, Gara, Schulyer, Brandon-Muller, and Sayette, ; 1991). Finally, the books will show that an economy that targets medical and welfare of its populace will experience positive progress (Bloom & Canning, 2003; Bloom & Sevilla, 2004; and Gyimah-Brempong & Wilson, 2004). Sketching on insights derived from these studies I am going to show that coaching life skills improve students' well-being, increase pupil expansion and development and create democratic individuals thereby allowing them to become conscientious and contributing customers of population.

Life-Skills Established Education Programmes

Skills based programmes are not new; they may have been around in a single form or the other for a number of years and also have been successful in several regions on the globe including the United Kingdom, america of America, Canada and Colombia to mention a few (Prevatt-Wiltshire, 2006). Life Skills programs were developed to handle the high degrees of risky behaviours that exist among the children in these regions - high school dropouts and young people who had remaining the school system.

The first Skills-Based Education program was released to the region in the 1980s as the Family Life Education Program. The curriculum was well prepared for the needs and culture of a developed modern culture but it was used and adapted to suit the needs and culture of the Caribbean people. The Family Life Education Program dropped through and later provided rise to medical and Family Life Education (HFLE) Task several generations later in the year 1996 by the CARICOM Ministers of Health. In the entire year 2001 HFLE was applied within the Primary college syllabus in Trinidad and Tobago, but it was only in 2007 that it was unveiled over a pilot school basis in secondary academic institutions. The HFLE program teaches adolescents life skills which seek to increase their personal efficacy and enhance the quality with their lives. Bandura identified self efficiency as someone's belief that he is able to succeed.

Our society is a democratic one and is continually changing so that it requires persons who could think critically and make in charge decisions. Soder, Goodlad, & McMannon (2001) and Dewey (1916) said that a democratic world requires citizens who are participatory, socially conscious and competent which is through education that communal reform may be achieved. The HFLE programme teaches life skills which "include problem handling, decision making, critical and creative thinking, self-awareness, the capability to empathize, dealing with emotions and level of resistance skills" (UNICEF, 1999). The purpose of this program is to inculcate particular principles and qualities that can make for better residents and foster laudable behaviour which permit the children to build up the skills they need to become responsible, impartial and contributing individuals.

Nature of Adolescent Health in the Region

Over the previous couple of decades the countries of the spot have centered their attention on education and health in order to raise the welfare of people. Studies show that buying Education and Health causes around 30% increase standard of living, development and progress (Bloom & Canning, 2003; Bloom & Canning, 2004; and Gyimah-Brempong and Wilson, 2004). THE PLANET Health Organization (1978) has described health as "circumstances of complete physical, mental and interpersonal well-being rather than merely the lack of disease or infirmity". This definition infers that health will involve a multifaceted view of an individual's standard of living and it is this concept which constitutes the foundation of medical and Family Life Education Project (HFLE).

Traditionally, the family was the primary socialization unit and the beliefs which were instilled at this level were echoed by all the stakeholders in the child's life - the city members, institution, and the cathedral. The old adage 'it takes a village to improve a child' was obvious as all establishments of socialization were involved in the upbringing of the kid. I remember as a kid growing up my family and customers of the city were very effective in nurturing me to be an improved person and any try to deviate from your path was found with a reprimand. Individuals not related if you ask me by blood experienced it was their obligation to instil self-control and the right worth in every children so that they could become better parents. However, at the moment, the role of the family regarding familial socialization is collapsing which is damaging to both the specific and the society most importantly. PAHO (1998) as well as the World Bank (2003) identified the following communal issues as the primary factors behind the breakdown of family life: absentee fathers, low rates of relationships, poverty, overly academics curriculum, mistreatment (mental, physical etc. ), disregard, poor media effect, inadequate physical environments, fragmented homes and communities, fragmented connections, and hostile social environments (home, university and neighbourhood).

These societal ills that presently face today's children are manifested in the behaviour they exhibit and also have given climb to the level of communicable and non-communicable diseases that are actually common. Non-communicable diseases are the key cause of the problems that is available in modern culture today. Diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, anaemia, bulimia, fatness and undernourishment are rampant in today's society and will be the results of the sedentary standards of living of the youths. The degrees of teenage pregnancies, reduced learning potential, increasing violence, juvenile delinquency, marginalized men, increasing adolescent dropouts, drugs, alcohol and tobacco, and violence are also increasing in case these risky behaviours are not addressed they will increase as the kid ages. (Ministry of Education, 2001)

Schools, therefore, have a pivotal role in wanting to address these ills of contemporary society since its principal function is moral and cultural education, as well as, academics instruction. This new role requires classes to look at an all-round method of education which addresses the alternative needs of the child since human needs can't be rigidly compartmentalized. The HFLE life skills programme was proposed to handle the social, internal and physical ills that face children (UNICEF, 1999) so that they can facilitate alternative development. The UNFPA (2005) record recognized that 20. 7% of the population in the region are between ages 15-24 and it is this section of the populace that is highly at risk of course, if children develop reasonable decision making skills and adopt desirable behaviours throughout their adolescence then these alternatives should continue and guide them through their adult lives.

The execution of the Life-Skills Programme in Trinidad & Tobago

The HFLE curriculum was unveiled as a pilot job to secondary schools in 2007 and my university (Fyzabad Anglican Secondary) is one of the participating academic institutions in the program. HFLE was created as another subject to the then Form Ones once a week for two intervals. The curriculum is scholar focused and it involves four designs: Sexuality and Sexual Health, Home and Interpersonal Connections, Eating and Fitness, and Taking care of the surroundings. HFLE is not a 'coaching' subject, the curriculum is one which is predominantly learner driven and the instructor operates as a facilitator and tutorials student learning. The traditional curricular is content based mostly and it focuses on knowledge development and diagnosis takes the proper execution of written examinations. These curricula neglect to make students for the real-world, nor allow them to reach their full-potential as individuals. The life-skills curriculum addresses the students' multiple intelligences and according to UNICEF/CARICOM (1999) the programme "is regarded as the feasible way to bridge existing spaces to allow young person's to achieve the high degrees of educational achievement and productivity required for the 21st hundred years. "

The Life-Skills trainings take a constructivist approach to education and course activities and diagnosis involves engaging students in participatory activities. The students are encouraged to move, write, sing, boogie, act, draw, create poems, reports and plays expressing their thoughts and put forward their contributions. The subject areas explored are designed on the students' previous knowledge and it allows the students to engage in cooperative learning through group work and peer conversations. The Assessment of this skills-based curriculum differs from the one that is content based in that we now have no written examinations and analysis is performed on a continuing basis to determine if student attitudes and behaviours have improved. The students are also required to keep journals which report their experience and growth. Each student continues a portfolio of the work and the material are both self applied and teacher assessed. Assessment is performed in a on a continuous basis and the students receive the opportunity of redoing an assignment if they are not satisfied with the grade of their work. The collection lends itself to be always a personal building tool as students can map out their progress from the inception to the conclusion of particular responsibilities. The high level of student engagement and student diagnosis in this program promotes the students become socially empowered since they are actively involved with their own learning (Cook-Sather, 2002).

Effects of Life-Skills Programmes

The ramifications of skill based programmes have been both negative and positive. However, most life skills programs have had results. Studies done by Elias, Gara, Schulyer, Brandon-Muller, and Sayette (1991) found that there was a direct romance between skills-based education and advancements in students' academics performance and public adjustment, this means that the behaviour and behaviours learnt in this program transcended the classroom and allowed the students to adapt to any public situation that arose. Other studies connected skills-based education to reductions in risk-taking and delinquent behaviour (Elias, 1991 and Tolan & Guerra, 1994) and delaying the use of alcohol and other drugs (Griffin & Svendsen, 1992 and Caplan et al. , 1992). These studies show that the students were experienced to make positive and enlightened healthy decisions which contribute to the introduction of conscientious and fruitful individuals who will contribute favorably to the near future development of world.

Although the secondary universities life-skills pilot program is only in its third season, it's been observed to be quite effective. It's been observed that behavior of the current Form Three students is significantly much better than similar students as of this level before. The students are usually more involved in university activities and are socially conscience of the impact they have on contemporary society and vice versa. It was also seen that there were some behavioural changes with respect to particular students in the programme. A few of the students in this group are special needs children and also have one or more cultural and mental handicap. These children entered the school very timid and withdrawn and frequently did not participate in classroom and college related activities, however, many of them have taken a far more energetic role in and from the school room (Cummins, 1986) which also experienced positive impacts on the academics performance. The personal efficacy of the students has increased and they are more assertive and self-assured in their relationships with both their peers and educators as is apparent in their position, mannerisms and attitude. The confidence these students exude have driven their motivation to succeed academically (Cummins, 1986).

However, although several studies have shown that life skills do impact favorably on college student empowerment, there are other studies which show that there has been no impact of the programme on adolescent behaviour and empowerment. An evaluation was conducted on the HFLE programme of the students in the Eastern Caribbean - Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada and St. Lucia - who had been subjected to the programme and the studies were that there have been no negligible changes in students' behavior after participating in the programme (UNICEF, 2009). So although students were exposed to the relevant information and skills essential to make up to date judgements they prolonged making their same poor decisions which led to their dysfunctional and negative behaviours. The students didn't feel politically empowered because the adults in world still control how things can be found and they still held no true vitality as their voices are often ignored and there is no room for his or her creativeness (Cook-Sather, 2002). Some of the problems encountered in the implementation of the Regional study were that resources were not readily available, there was no standardization of the programme, educators were ill prepared to cope with the life skills curriculum and there was limited monitoring and evaluation of the program (UNICEF, 2009). The ethos of the schools was negative since the programme cannot exist in isolation and there has to be a shared vision and communication among all associates within the institution environment.


The ramifications of Life Skills Based Education Programme (LSBE) have been two-fold in the accounts both supported and disagreed with the idea that the programme increases student empowerment. On a global level such programs have yielded major successes and reported significant changes in behaviour, attitudes and educational performance as a result of providing students more autonomy, electric power and choice. The students could effectively solve problems and make positive decisions which corresponding to Friere (1970) are the basis of empowerment since it involves persons increasing control of their lives to be able to transcend their social restrictions.

Although there has been no formal diagnosis of the potency of the Secondary Universities HFLE life skills program in Trinidad and Tobago, the following observations were made based on the students of 1 institution in the Secondary Colleges Pilot HFLE program. The first observation was that the life skills programme was both effective and affective as it led to positive behavioural changes in a number of students who participated in the program on the two time period. The next observation showed that the level of self efficiency of the learner population at the Form Three level got increased and the persona and frame of mind of several individual students were more interesting and sociable.

The statement on the programme at the regional level, based on a study of four Caribbean countries, had not been as positive since it was shown that the life span skills program possessed no discernable effect on student behavior and empowerment as a result of hindrances they faced in the programme's administration and delivery. To overcome the impeding factors experienced and aid the life span skills programme in its fight against societal ills and the campaign of college student empowerment and democratic citizenship the following recommendations should be taken into consideration:

The introduction of the inter-school effort or 'set and talk about' program whereby days gone by and present participants in the life span skills programme meet and discuss the impact the programme had on their lives. This sort of programme allows the students to see the website link between themselves and their modern culture and increase their level of citizenship.

The life skills programme should be applied in all supplementary schools in the country so that all adolescents in world could benefit from the exercise. Even though the effects are minute the programme should be continued since a succession of small strides could lead to large, positive influences on culture.

More engagement from the associates of the community in the administration of this program since it will permit the community associates to be more actively mixed up in education of the country's youths and it will strengthen the romance between the home, college and the community. It will also allow the recipients to get a thorough view of all the aspects protected in the syllabus.

Comprehensive evaluation of the program should be done continuously to examine the effectiveness of the teaching methods, programme delivery and the effect on the institution environment. These regular assessments will also be used to adapt the programme to the changing needs of modern culture.

The educators and/or facilitators of the programmes should discover the training and resources essential for the successful and effective execution with their responsibilities because if the facilitators are ill-prepared to cater to the needs of the students then the programme won't have the required results.

The development and implementation of the life span skills programs to other 'at risk' people of population as an 'out-of-school' program so that a larger ratio of the populace could become self aware and make prepared healthy alternatives.

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