History versus life skills?

I was invited to a short presentation by Partners for Possibility (PfP). Its focus is to support/partner with school principals to address and resolve the many challenges they face so as to become more efficient and successful at fulfilling their mandate.

Outside of the fact that some 1.1 million kids enter the schooling system every year with only 200 000 of them completing secondary education, research shows that age 10, 30% of learners are not where they should be at that age. At age 18, only ten percent have the skills which they should have at this stage of their academic career and life. So, don’t be blinded by the number of 70% or whatever, who completes their school education. Fact is, they are not ready for tertiary studies or for that matter – Life.

A good friend of mine and previous owner of Protea Bande in Nelspruit, Hendrik van Rensburg, have proven beyond reasonable doubt and through an intern program which he develop and implemented, the difference life skills training do for interns right out of school and even many who did have some work experience.

Life skills are critically important if we want to develop successful entrepreneurs and people in general. In fact, commerce will probably confirm that many students with degrees, who enter the market, are, on many levels, not ready for the world and its demands, stress and the rest. Remember also, that there are many entrepreneurs out there who do not have any tertiary qualifications or even Grade 12 but they are successful in what they do.

History does have value and we need to be mindful of it, but your history and background is no guarantee for success or lack of it, in life (my opinion). One’s future success is determined by your present decisions. We need to create equal opportunities for all and at the most fundamental level, the crux of the latter is that good quality primary and secondary education will equip learners with life skills that will enhance their emotional intelligence which again, will improve their chances of being successful.

This is where and how we will produce both world class academics and entrepreneurs who are also well-rounded individuals.

It is not about this or that – it is about getting our priorities right and applying our minds and resources according to these priorities.

  AUTHOR
Matthys Ferreira
Editor: Autodealer Lowveld

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