Life skills key in shaping teens, says Isles First Lady

IN efforts to uphold morals among young people, life skills should be instilled to youths while also protecting them from acts of humiliation including sexual abuse.

The message is contained in a speech of First Lady Maryam Mwinyi, delivered at the meeting of Tanzania Women Association of owners of Private Schools and College (TAWASCO) held here recently.

She placed much emphasis to invest in teaching teens life skills for them to develop strong careers and be able to overcome various challenges in life.

The Deputy Speaker of the Zanzibar House of Representatives Ms Mgeni Hassan Juma read the speech on the behalf of Mama Maryam Mwinyi, saying young people need to be nurtured in a proper ways, so that they become good citizens.

UNICEF defines life skills as “a behaviour change or behaviour development approach designed to address a balance of three areas: knowledge, attitude and skills, while the World Health Organization (WHO) has also defined life skills as, “the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.”

UNICEF, UNESCO and WHO list the ten core life skill strategies and techniques that young people should have as: problem solving, critical thinking, effective communication skills, decision-making, creative thinking, interpersonal relationship skills, self-awareness, building skills, empathy, and coping with stress and emotions.

The First Lady said in her speech that it is necessary to strive to prepare a society without violence and immorality through using the skills, competence, and education in dealing with the problems that they face, so that values based on dignity and mutual respect take its place as it was in the past.

She lamented, “Our society is now facing moral decay due to lack of seriousness in parenting. Increased crime including sexual violence and raping children, are tarnishing our country as a civilized society.”

Mama Maryam, who is also the Chairperson of Zanzibar Maisha Bora Foundation (ZMBF) commended TAWASCO for seeing the importance of planning and strategising the issue of access to quality education in the country, as it is the foundation of human success in life.

He said the issue of access to quality education for children needs to be supported as it includes many indicators in measuring the quality of community education, and that it includes good policy, commitment of teachers, and equipment.

The Zanzibar Deputy Minister of Education and Vocational Training Mr Ali Abdulgulam Hussein also commended the TAWASCO for establishing the association of private schools, which plays an important role in education.

TAWASCO Chairperson Ms Mercy Sila, said that their meeting is a platform to share issues regarding education, students, the government and private schools on the development of education in the country, as she promised to work with both Zanzibar and the union government to achieve goals in education.

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