Petition to introduce a programme within schools to improve life skills for stude
Petition to introduce a programme within schools to improve life skills for stude
Numbers pertaining to a programme implemented in many schools across the world that is similar to our proposal:
-95% of students who have these lessons graduate high school
Programmes like these have incredible career demand (Between 2012 and 2022, the United States will have 50,557,900 job openings that can be filled by CTE graduates.)
-Students who have these lessons achieve better grades (70% of students have claimed to achieve better grades after or during the course of programmes like this.)
CTE has surprisingly satisfied students (In fact, 80% of all CTE students say they’re satisfied with their education and the career prospects that come with it. If this sounds high, it is! In 2016, YouthTruth surveyed more than 165,000 students between the 2010-11 and 2014-15 school years.Only 45% of these students felt “positively” about college and career readiness. That means nearly twice as many CTE students feel ready to take on a career or college education)
-CTE offers students powerful direction in life(In a staggering contrast to most high school graduates and even college students, 82% of CTE students say that CTE helped them “know where they were headed.”)
Until the 10th grade, most students don’t find it necessary to start thinking about their careers, but when they enter the 11th, they are burdened with multiple imperative life decisions they need to make within a short time period. This sends many of them into spirals of anxiety.
This is not the only problem. As per a survey made by Mindler in 2019, out of 10,000 indian students, 93% were aware of only 7 career options. This is a major problem as as our world is currently advancing at an extreme pace, new career opportunities are arising as well. How do children make informed decisions on what to pursue if their knowledge of the opportunities they have is restricted to this extent?
But the problem doesn’t stop at career choices, it comes down to colleges too. According to a study done in 2018 by the Gallup and Strada Education Network, only 36 percent said they believed they had the skills and knowledge to be successful in their careers. We should make sure that children get into college feeling equipped for the life they must lead.
Helping first-generation students whose parents have usually gone to college in India - unless they have friends in higher grades, they will not know what steps to follow or tasks that need to be completed for applications, for example. Furthermore, students’ parents may only be in one or two industries; thus, they are not exposed to a multitude of career options. In India, there is also a widely prevalent culture of stereotypes - where if you want to be successful, you can either be an engineer, doctor or lawyer. There’s no in-between. Sessions like these, or ‘life lessons’ will help even the playing field, and offer equal opportunities to all students in the class.
In a June 2019 survey funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation which sampled 2,000 students, employers, parents and adults, it was found that while 83% of the students surveyed do plan to go to college, they’d like to see less focus on college-entry exams and more on practical skills like personal finance and tax preparation.
Blue-collar employers saw the greatest discrepancy between what students are taught and what they need to succeed in the workplace. These employers felt the greatest gaps were in “judgment and decision making” and “control or expression of emotions.” Going forward, students want to see more focus on financial literacy and organization, plus greater job shadowing and internship opportunities. Furthermore, 92% of employers report that an industry-related internship influences their decision to hire an applicant, proving the need for such classes. (Koch, 2019)
In order to deal with the problem of incertitude amongst students regarding career and life choices, this petition proposes to include life skills classes in schools as it would effectively help students obtain a holistic and complete approach on life skills and career choices.
Scheduling - once a week, after school (perhaps a wednesday) 3-4
Programmes within it/organisations affiliated - mentorship programme, internship programme, job shadowing programme
People who would mentor - rotating volunteer programmes, where parents of students could be asked to give leadership talks, and specifically talk about the work they do in their day-to-day lives.
Students could be exposed to the following industries: see picture to the right
Students from the grades of 9th to 12th would take these classes. A more detailed itinerary is given below.
9th Grade: Students in the ninth grade will start with working on their basic skills like speaking, and technology. They will also learn about emergency care and basic first aid.
10th Grade: With impending subject decisions in the 11th, it is important for students in the 10th grade to know which direction they want to go in when it comes to their careers. This is why sessions with professionals will happen for this grade.
11th Grade: Students will start working on college applications in this grade. This is when sessions on college life with alumni will happen. Over here students will also learn now to build their network etc.
12th Grade: This is the final year before students will head to college. Life skills like taxes, making resumes etc will happen in this grade.
How would this benefit the students’ learning?
Career-wise - help them understand their career options, expose them to many industries, speakers, shadowing programmes for a couple of hours after school, help get internships in fields of interest.
College - sessions with alumni or the recently-graduated class of 2021, understanding the application process, extracurriculars
Life Skills - Learning how to do taxes, basic self care (how to live alone after school), how to build a network, essay-writing, confidence, how to deal with failure, how to study, basic resume building for part time jobs, how to save money, how to live and make friends abroad.
Emergency, first-aid kit
Informing people of their basic rights as a citizen
Technological skills - as the world increasingly becomes driven by technology, it is no longer preferred that employees or students have these skills. Rather, it is required. While we all might know the basics of Microsoft Word or Powerpoint, expectations go further than rudimentary knowledge.
How to speak to people outside your circle
Counter-arguments: How could this be bad for the student’s learning?
Take up their time, when they would rather be studying
These are things that they should learn by themselves (through experience), or things like taxes (learn by doing, theory will not help)
Some may not take it seriously, take it as a ‘chill’ class
Many alumni may be unavailable for most of the year
Industry leaders as well would have work during school hours
Students may get even more confused after being exposed to so many fields
We can implement it for one hour a week, which is an accommodatable amount of time. These classes will prove to be useful to the children and are just as important as studies.
Though many people in generations before us had to learn all these skills the hard way, there is no harm in giving the children a small amount of security when it comes to certain life skills.
Students may or may not take this class seriously, but with in-class real-life examples and notes being provided to them, at least they will not leave the class learning nothing. Games will also be played. Furthermore, it is an enjoyable learning activity. Therefore, students will truly be engaged.
The sessions with the alumni will not happen regularly, but only in the classes where the children learn about essential college skills. The alumni will be informed in advance and ideally only 2-3 from the US, the UK, India, Canada, Australia and other countries will be needed. They will not have to do an immense amount of work, just come in for an hour and answer questions. These classes will happen more regularly with 10-11th graders. Career sessions from 10-11th.
Professionals who are going to give talks about their industries do not need to be major heads, they can be parents of the children taking these sessions as well. As said for the alumni, these professionals will only need to come for the sessions about careers. At least one professional from major fields would be needed, and they would only have to come for an hour or so. Not only industrial, but also artistic careers.
Exposure to more fields will help the children understand them better. The professionals that come to the school will tell the children things about the fields that they would not be able to find online, which will give them a bit more clarity of what they are getting into. This will help them make informed decisions on what they want to pursue.