Familiarization Workshop on Life Skills Education
27th September 2004: The Educational Development Centre (EDC) with the support of the United Nations Population Fund has conducted a familiarization workshop on the 27th September 2004 for policy makers upon launching of Life Skills Education for adolescents in schools. This half a-day familiarization workshop is part of the Integrated Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Life Skills project being executed by the Ministry of Education with UNFPA support.
The Ministry of Youth Development and Sports is also a key partner in the project. Other partners include the NGOs SHE, FASHAN as well as Girl Guides and Boy Scouts.
Speaking at the workshop, Dr. Mahamoud Shougy, the Minister of Education highlighted the fact that Life Skills is already part of the curriculum and one of the objectives of the curriculum is to produce responsible young adults. He said that in addition to academic sessions conducted in classes, a number of co-curricular activities are held each year for imparting various social skills necessary in life.
He also said that it is the first time we are planning to provide Life Skills Education as a separate subject and this is necessary to give special emphasis due to emerging challenges facing the adolescents’ globally and nationally.
Dr. Abdul Muhusin Mohamed, the Assistant Executive Director of the Department of Higher Education and Training spoke about the challenges in the school system. He said that a lot of emphasis is placed on the academic side and hence overlooking all other aspects of the curriculum.
Ms. Dunya Maumoon, the UNFPA Assistant Representative highlighted the main findings of the recently conducted Reproductive Health Survey. She noted that while adolescents had good knowledge in some areas, she had great concerns due to gaps, inaccurate knowledge and misconceptions in a number of areas relating to sexual and reproductive health.
Other Speakers included Dr. Aishath Shiham from the Society of Health Education, Sheikh Ahmed Fahumy Didi, and Mr. Abdul Hameed. Dr. Shiham explained what Life Skills were and the components of the Life Skills Packages developed under the project while Sheikh Didi confirmed that the contents of the packages were inline with Islamic values.
Mr. Hameed shared his experiences as a facilitator in imparting Life Skills Education in schools.Three packages have been developed under the project for various groups.
- Package 1 for grades 6-7/ages 12-13: Self-esteem, Values, Relationships, Self-awareness, Child Abuse, Communication, Assertiveness, Peer Pressure, Stress, Decision-making, Anger, Conflict Resolution, and Media Influence.
- Package 2 for grades 8-9/ages 14-15: Media Influence, Body Image, Values, Self-awareness, STIs/HIV/AIDS, Gender Roles, Relationships, Communication, Assertiveness, Peer Pressure, Stress, Decision-making, Anger, and Conflict Resolution.
- Package 3 for grades 10 and out of school/ages 16+: Media Influence, Starting a Family, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, Responsible Parenthood, Conception and Pregnancy, STIs/HIV/AIDS, Gender Roles, Contraceptives, Condoms for Dual Protection, Communication, Peer Pressure, Assertiveness, Stress, Anger, and Conflict Resolution.
Life skills sessions are being conducted in the pilot schools: Aminiyya School, Majeediyya School, Dharumavantha School, Galolhu Madharusa and Jalaaludheen School of Kulhudhuffushi. Strong focus is given by the UNFPA Country programme to strengthening information, skills and knowledge for better sexual and reproductive health of adolescents.