Include Life Skills in School & College Curriculums: Experts
PUNE: Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WICCI), India’s First National Business Chamber for Women, today announced the launch of Life Skills Council for enhancing life skills for women across all levels, profiles, and sectors.
On the occasion of India’s 74th Independence day, the WICCI had announced its Mission and Vision on Life Skills Council and today it was officially launched. The launch was followed by a Panel Discussion on ‘Life Skills in India-Past & Present.’ The Council was launched virtually by WICCI’s top functionaries Dr. Harbeen Arora, Founder President, Dr. Kuiljeit Uppaal, National President, and Sivambiga Athianna, National Vice President.
On the occasion, Dr. Bhawani Rao R, UNESCO Chair in India for Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment, Dr. Manninder K Dwivedi, Principal Secretary, Rural Industries & GST, Government of Chhattisgarh, and Dr. Jitendra Nagpal, Senior Psychiatrist & Life Skill Expert, Director-Expressions India shared their views as guests of honor. The experts and panelists called for the inclusion of life skills in school and college curriculums.
Appreciating the efforts of WICCI, Dr. Bhawani Rao R said, “Skills be it vocational or academic, they are deeply rooted in life skills. We need to adopt a sustainable development model with a new structure of life skills. I firmly believe that components of life skills need to be incorporated in school and college curriculum. Traditionally life skills components are aligned with the philosophy of Satyam, Shivam, Sundram.”
Earlier welcoming the guests, Dr Kuiljeit Uppaal, WICCI National President said, “ Given the current socio-economic conditions, it is important to create novel ways of enhancing life skills to empower women in business, industry and commerce across all sectors and fields. The Council shall build well researched and legit policies in the area, and suggest the acceptance and implementation of the same to the Government of India, for woman empowerment and a better-conditioned society.”
“A system needs to be in place to develop coping mechanisms and self-management skills that can effectively combat challenges, and help individuals evolve towards self- empowerment and success as professionals in business, industry, and commerce across all sectors and fields,” she added.
The panelists were of the view that India needs to create a powerful and enriching eco-system of life skills in this dynamic and rapidly changing era. There is a need for an ecosystem to build the psychosocial, interpersonal, and affective capacity of an individual in multiple areas.
Dr. Jitendra Nagpal said, “Life skills are the abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life to address a balance of three areas- knowledge, attitude, and skills. We have survival, livelihood, and academic skills in place in our system but India is missing out on life skills- Psycho-Social Competency. Hence, in our development model, life skills need to be considered as a top priority.”
According to the experts, the skills of knowing and living with oneself, with others, as well as the ability to explore, rationalize and establish effective behavioral iterations for oneself is imperative for evolution and productivity.
Emphasizing the importance of rational and effective policy framework for life skills, Dr. Manninder K Dwivedi said, “Life Skills are nothing new and they were always there. But we need to revisit due to rapidly changing times and new normal socio-economic conditions emerging due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We have adequate resilience to adopt changes, hence we need to restructure life skills to address the challenges of the new emerging world.”
The WICCI National Council for Life Skills endeavors to operate and create well-defined policies, systems, and processes, as well as engage with the population, in conjunction with the globally recognized concepts of Life Skills and their pertinence and applicability for Indian culture and progressive thought in the current dynamism. Awareness, R&D, Knowledge sharing, Community Network, Exchange Programmes, and Policy creation are the integral components of the WICCI’s Life Skills Mission.
In her video message, Dr. Harbeen Arora, Founder President, WICCI said, “The Council would work on a mission mode. We are encouraged by the participation of UNESCO and a senior official from the Chhattisgarh government. The Council will work towards creating the awareness and relevance of the skills among professionals and aspiring professionals across sectors.”
UNESCO, UNICEF, and WHO have listed ten core life skills that include problem-solving, critical thinking, effective communication skills, decision-making, creative thinking, interpersonal relationship skills, self-awareness building skills, empathy, and coping with stress and emotions.
The Council also plans to engage with business units, entrepreneurship institutions, start-up incubators, corporate houses, higher education establishments, and other groups across domains to familiarise and disseminate life skills training through specially devised Life Skills Centres and Circles of Excellence to work toward balancing knowledge, skills, and attitude. Moreover, the Council will explore opportunities to engage with groups and organizations that need assistance for knowledge sharing.
“Community engagement is critical for successful implementation of life skill programs. We shall create ways to engage with the community at various levels in person or digitally. We also plan to aid direct learning and facilitation and thus effectively engage with the population as ‘friends of hope and resolve’, where there is scope for the community to openly share their feelings, feel a sense of belonging and mutually strengthen each other within the group,” Dr. Uppaal elaborated.
Along with Policy Creation, the Council would also focus on encouraging and facilitating knowledge sharing within the states of India, at the national level, and at a global level with all possible means and modes.
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2014 The Global Indian New Network (TGINN)