In South Africa we have a subject called “Life Orientation” (LO) as part of our high school education. The syllabus aims to educate in basic life skills and consists of learning about various religions, STDs/sex ed, alcohol, career guidance etc.

I had a great teacher for LO, which made the experience quite enjoyable. However, the majority of South African learners do not see any value in it, and implementation is generally quite poor (Jacobs, 2011).

I think that the idea of the subject is great, but that there are so many skills that could be taught as part of the syllabus. Off the top of my head these include:

  • Applying for government documentation (IDs, drivers, passports)
  • Understanding medical aids and the health system in general
  • How to file taxes
  • Basic meal preparation and other home management techniques
  • Understanding employment contracts and the rights of employees
  • Understanding and managing mental health problems

There is much more that can go into this list. The idea, though, is that LO could be used as a vehicle to teach essential life skills. In doing so, it would make it easier for young adults to function in the real world.

Image is of my little brother at my old school, taken in 2011. He starts high school tomorrow! Good luck kiddo!

Thesis update: got serious food poisoning today. Spent the day in bed
Blog 72/365. Read more about my #365of25 journey here


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