The Power of Soft Skills: The aspect of Skill Training that empowers students for Professional Success

Schools don't teach students life skills ; skills which are equally important if not more important than the regular subjects taught.

Schools are widely regarded as the temples of learning in our society. But the question is, have our schools really skilled our kids to deal with life the same way as they have skilled them to read and write? To put it plainly what would be more important to a grown-up dealing with his day-to-day life; Pythagoras theorem or knowing how to handle `one’s finances?

While schools train you to develop your intelligence quotient (IQ), do they train you to develop your Emotional quotient (EQ)? A grown-up requires EQ in equal proportion to his or her IQ. Similarly, there are a lot of other life skills a school doesn’t prepare an individual for; skills which are equally important if not more important than the regular subjects taught. While schools play an important role in educating our children, there are certain life skills that are often overlooked and not given due importance. This article delves into some important life skills that are not always taught in schools:

  1. Communication Skills: Schools teach everyone to read and write but good communication skills go beyond just reading and writing. Can the student write a formal job application? Can he or she speak on a public forum effectively? Do they have the skills to answer an interview? Do they know how to maintain the right body language? For effective communication one needs to learn other aspects of communication like letter writing skills, public speaking skills, interpersonal skills, nonverbal cues like body language and even skills to be a good listener and being able to articulate one’s thoughts into words.
  • Time Management Skills: Majority of schools don’t have a subject in time management. While most teachers will tell you the importance of time management from time to time, no one really teaches you on how to manage time more effectively and be more organised. Our system of one exam at the end of the term in fact trains students to be bad time managers where a majority study just a week before exams to get the required marks. Managing time and being organised is all about knowing how to set goals, how to prioritize tasks and how to stay organized ensuring higher productivity with reduced stress levels which all students need to learn at a school level. This skill of time management will be vital to the kid when he grows up into an adult for achieving greater professional success.
  • Financial Skills: While most educational institutes will teach about balance sheets and profit & loss statements, not many will focus on simple things like how to open a bank account, how to deposit/withdraw money from a bank or things like how to open a DMAT account or a stock trading account. Our education system doesn’t give importance to practical financial skills which an individual will require in his or her day-today life like knowing how to calculate one’s taxes, identifying the right financial tools to invest money or how to file one’s income tax. These financial skills need to be taught in all schools as projects even if the school syllabus doesn’t cover it. 
  • Emotional Intelligence: Today, a vast majority of kids don’t have siblings. For these pampered single kids their entire world revolves around themselves and being aware about what others feel is absolutely alien to them. They grow up not being able to manage their emotions, not having any empathy for others, not being able to resolve conflicts and having relationship issues. The number of youngsters dealing with mental health issues has become a major issue today and working on one’s EQ at an early stage will make a difference dealing with these issues later in life. EQ needs to be a subject that needs to be taught in schools and needs to be given as much importance as IQ.
  • Home Management Skills: In home management a student needs to learn all basic skills to manage one’s home effectively. This will include skills like basic cooking, house hold chores like cleaning, basic plumbing and basic electrical knowledge. While there are professionals who do this work for you and you can pay them money to get it done, there is no greater self-empowerment in life then having the basic skillset to do some of these things on your own. Especially with skills like cooking, everyone irrespective of gender and social class should have the skill to cook a staple meal one consumes in a household. This will be a handy skill to have especially when one grows up and has to stay away from family for long periods. Unfortunately, most schools will never teach this to the students.
  • Health & Nutrition: All schools have always had a physical education session where students would do some basic physical activities. Schools today have also incorporated activities like karate and dancing which has brought physical fitness on the forefront for kids. These activities are in fact more important in today’s times where kids prefer staying indoors playing video games. But what also needs to be taught to kids is the importance of food and nutrition to one’s health. In a world of processed foods and easily available unhealthy ready to eat foods, kids today are more prone to obesity making them grow into unhealthy obese adults. Physical fitness needs to be integrated with health & nutrition to help our kids become healthy adults.

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