We need to teach people skills for life and living
Our Readers' Opinions
March 3, 2023

We need to teach people skills for life and living

EDITOR: Learning how to live and how to make a living seem to be essential skills that all must learn if we are to survive in our society. Traditionally these skills are taught by the home.

The church reinforces the skills but it is at school that attempts are made to ensure that the skills are taught formally. Clubs and other forms of socialization provide practical situations where the skills are practised.

Apprenticeship learning played an important role before the Education Revolution. However, the universal secondary education has not catered adequately for learning practical skills. As a consequence, many students, especially the boys who desired to learn a skill, feel handicapped when they complete secondary school with this deficiency.

Working together in any situation creates avenues for conflicts to arise and for amicable solutions to evolve. Cooperative learning at school allows students to depend on each other for their success. Team games foster cooperation for the goal to be achieved. They also allow losing with dignity. Board games can be viewed in a similar fashion. All the games that provide for interactions with others help to teach us to get along with each other.

The advent of video games where many individuals play by themselves seem to create antisocial behaviours in our students resulting in difficulties in relating to others. Added to this is the failure to practice reading by many of our students. If they read the newspapers, they would have the knowledge of current affairs upon which to base friendly arguments.
Times used to be that some conflicts were settled with “hand to hand” fights.

Sometimes implements were used that caused treatable injuries. Besides this there were people in the family or the neighbourhood who were able to help to settle disputes. The increased availability of guns, coupled with decreased reasoning abilities may have contributed to the increase in homicide rates.

If we teach our people skills that they can use to make a living, and emphasize reading and reasoning, and create more situations for people to interact, we can hope to settle our disputes amicably.

Anthony G. Stewart, PhD