Gone are the days when a school’s raison d’être was to produce knowledgeable students. Everything else would take care of itself. Students knew how to be independent when they entered college. In most cases, social skills and mental health were a given, and students were physically active. Resilience was not a word that needed to be taught. Life skills were exactly that – skills that one picked up in life. One did not need to plan for life skills. Fast forward to today, and one is shaken by the new reality.
- We are guiding Generation Z – the first generation born into the social media age.
- They do not know life before social media. Hence a life that is dictated by the hazy rules of social media.
- With some exceptions, they are constantly connected, yet disconnected from life as we know it.
- There is a great desire for independence while the reality is of grudging dependence.
- Mental health issues have become the new norm due to the pressures of social media existence.
- Failure is too easily embraced.
- Self-esteem is at an all-time low.
- Social skills are disappearing.
The irony is that these life skills now need to be taught, where they once developed naturally. So the question now is – how do we teach life skills to students?
One step at a time is the answer – incremental steps that slowly build up the life skills. This is not an elitist programme that caters for a select number of students. The solution has to be made available to all students at elc. With this is mind, we have conceptualised the PULSE Programme:
- Pastoral care
- Social Skills
This is how PULSE is to be achieved:
- Workshops on life skills
- One-to-one discussions with students
- Counselling services, where required
- ECAs to focus on and showcase skills
- Service projects
- JASS and DofE
The goal is for students to develop life skills, have high self-esteem and resilience – these will carry the students well through college and the work place.