Life Skills Education in Schools

Life Skills Education in SchoolsLife Skills Education in Schools

The State Welfare Organization’s (SWO) Center for Promoting Prevention and Treatment of Addiction will interact with the Health and Physical Education Department of the Education Ministry in providing students of all grades with ‘life skills and social health’ education in the form of workshops.

“Schools and education centers are one of the main platforms for imparting education offering training on this crucial subject that also helps in curbing social ills,” said Majid Rezazadeh, head of the center, ISNA reported.

The workshops will cover areas such as risky behavior, transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and ways to prepare for married life as well as social emergencies.

Previously in 2011, the single-credit educational course ‘Family Planning’ in universities across the country was a subject of debate as to whether or not it should be scrapped from the curricula or replaced with life-skills subjects. The course was intended to teach life skills to the youth, address high-risk behavior, and raise awareness on transmission of STDs.

“Under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government (2005-2013), we were not even allowed inside schools on the grounds that our teaching programs were inspired by western influence whereas all such instructions are recommended by Islam. Now the SWO and the Education Ministry have built close ties,” he said.

However, despite the close two-way collaboration, launching the programs in schools is facing hurdles due to the prevailing traditional structures in the education system, parents’ retrogressive thinking and their emphasis on sticking to the traditional education plus the lack of public demand for such teaching skills from the government.

Stressing that the obstacles have to be identified and removed, Rezazadeh said it is essential that the “proper culture be created” in society with regard to such types of education and training that is a norm in most countries.

The move has already been initiated at universities. In March a major workshop for pre-marriage skills was held at three prominent centers of higher learning, namely Sharif University, the University of Tehran and Shahid Beheshti University. Other universities have also been urged to join and benefit from similar training workshops.