JEEWAN KI SAMAJH – FROM LITERACY TO EDUCATION is a project for children in adolescence, an age that poses several challenges in life and needs a balanced and healthy approach to grow into adulthood. The project aims at promoting the psycho-social competence in adolescents that would groom a person’s ability to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.
Life Skills is a comprehensive behavioural change, an approach that concentrates on the development of the skills needed for life such as communication, decision–making, thinking, managing emotions, assertiveness, self–esteem building, resisting peer pressure, and relationship skills. In Indian schools however, life skills education is yet to be fully initiated and recognized as an integral part of the curriculum.
A Life Skills programme, Jeevan Ki Samajh – from Literacy to Education was initiated for the students of Government High schools in Noida. The project activities were conducted in 10 selected government schools imparting life skills education to a total of 1171 boys and girls in the age group 13 to 19 years, alongside their regular curriculum. It was an attempt to bridge missing linkages in formal school system by the means of one to one and group interactions with students through sixty workshops on six main life skills namely Communication, Career planning, Peer pressure, Violence and Risky behaviour, Gender discrimination and Sexual health.
The programme based on multi-stakeholders approach involved parents, district administration, education department and the schools. A total of 70 teachers and 63 parents/guardians were provided an orientation in issues of adolescence and the techniques to deal with the transitional but crucial phase of adolescent life.
The project introduced the young boys and girls to an unchartered dimension of education as an endeavour to prepare them for:
- An adulthood to take up the role of responsible citizenship;
- A meaningful and productive life;
- Channelizing youth energy in a meaningful direction &
- Diversion from the path of delinquency and violence
To share the project observations, a mid-term review was conducted in December 2014 where subject specialists in life skills and education provided important inputs to the ongoing journey of the project. The life skills students shared their experiences and learnings from the workshops held in their school.
The project, Jeevan Ki Samajh – from Literacy to Education culminated with a workshop at Gandhi Smarak Govt. Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, Noida on January 8, 2015. Around 200 students from the project schools took part in the event. A number of life skills based activities were organized and the students participated very enthusiastically. The entire venue was buzzed with youth expressions through colourful collages, life time stories and posters which brought about the inner honesty of adolescents and their conflicts. The open platform to speak about self gave an opportunity for free expression.