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Pairing Education With Crucial Life Skills

Life education

Indian students are some of the world’s brightest, and are capable of taking on the challenge of a huge range of subjects. Despite this, vital life skills are often lacking – when it comes to financial skills, for example, students are creating a 142% increase in student loan defaults year on year.
Schools and higher education facilities need to do more to help students tie in crucial life skills to their studies, and find ways of helping students become financially independent and prepared for the modern world at the time they start their careers. Ultimately, education should enrich youth, while also giving students the springboard to success they require.

Security against debt

Financial skills are one of the most important things to build in life, and the impact of poor financial management acumen is reflected in the plight of India’s middle classes. According to the Times of India, household debt rose to Rs 6.74 lakh crore in the 17-18 financial year, the equivalent of a 13% increase. Arguably, teaching university students about financial responsibility and how to prevent this situation should start with their first major debt – the student loan.
Educators and public services should provide education on how it works, what different types there are, how it can be refinanced or restructured, and what the impact of its repayments will be on future earnings. Like a mortgage, many student loans are long term, and provide the perfect educational example for the rest of their lives.

What might education with a nod towards financial responsibility look like? It can be as simple as a classroom reward system for saving up: so many of one item could prove fruitful. Likewise, using citizenship and financial classes to teach the dangers of high APR could be useful.

Understanding time management

For a child or young adult, life is easily segmented into the ‘big chunks’ of the day. Lessons are at this time; sleep here; and work is there. This is a useful method of rationalizing the world that will help in leading an organized life. However, rigidly sticking to it and not valuing micro-management of your day can lead to poor time management that seeps into your success in life, and even in business. According to one consultant in the Business Standard, most Indian businesses don’t manage time, and it’s to their detriment.

Schools should certainly be teaching time management as part of the curriculum. There is already an element of it, with tasks in classes often given set times. However, by the time most students reach the exam hall and are expected to regiment even an exam paper into sections, they can be lacking. Teaching time management early and effectively will set foundations for a better organized life.

Life education

Navigating modern pressures

Smart technology and the internet have undoubtedly had a huge effect on all aspects of life. Students at all levels are benefiting from digital technology, which allows for far more interactive lessons, instant access to endless knowledge, and real career opportunities around the world. However, there is a dark side to the web, and it’s felt acutely in India, where, according to The Wire, the highest rates of cyber bullying occur. Children and adult learners should be taught about the risks of the internet and staying safe online, including protecting your own identity and how to deal with the likes of trolls. Furthermore, the proliferation of fake news articles is having a profound impact on the web, and this will directly impact learning. Educators should be proactive today, to teach these skills alongside their digitally oriented classes. School is for learning the hard facts of academic subjects, and life skills are often somewhat forgotten – they shouldn’t be. Many Indians could gain a lot from learning the soft skills that education sometimes passes by. Taking a proactive and positive approach to learning will make daily life easier and help to establish a proper legacy.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 13th February 2019.

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