7 Life skills that must be mandatory school subjects.

During the early ’90s, school selection was typically dependent on the fee structure and the distance between the school and the home. Today, the schools are selected depending on the syllabus offered. During my schooling, I remember knowing only two syllabus – state board and CBSE board. Thanks to my niece and nephews, I am aware of the different syllabus offered such as CBSE, ICSE, IBO, IG, etc. (Apologies, I have zero knowledge about the differences between these syllabi even now). Even after giving the international standards of education, our current education system lacks in grooming the children in general aspects of life.  

Mandatory Subjects in School

At times when I used to struggle with subjects, I used to wonder whether this knowledge would ever come handy in life. Today, I wonder, where I am using the knowledge of chemistry or geography to run my daily life. When I face the realities of life, there are many at times, I wished that I should have taught about those skills in school life. Here are a few subjects that are life skills that must be mandatory school subjects.

  • Importance of Health: What can I say more? Marks, grades, ranks, and whatnot. Like it or not, school children are surrounded by the pressure of performance. And, this is certainly impacting their physical and mental health well-being. Firstly, schools must teach children the importance of health, giving them space and knowledge to take care of their health. Now and always, they must be taught to prioritize health above everything.
  • Career Management: Finding the right job, matching the skillsets, gaining knowledge for the same, preparing for the interview, and facing the crowd with the answers, is a great life skill that cannot be ignored. After all, most of us, study to have a sustainable career, and if we don’t impart the knowledge on how to have a sustainable career, there is no point in having a school or college education.
  • Money Management: In school, we are never given a penny more than what is needed. But money management is one of the core skills a person needs to endure one’s life. The importance of handling finances is a value add for life. Accounting, tax, investments, savings, expenditure, etc., everything needs to be taught to every child and not just to a commerce student. To ensure a child’s life never ends up in debt, this needs to be invested during higher education days.
  • Self-Defense: Not as an optional subject, but self-defense must be taught to every child, whether it is a boy or girl. They should be groomed in their formative years with indisputable physical and mental strength. This will help them to confidently face the challenges of life, and never succumb to them.
  • Value of Time: Why is there a timer in every school? Why every class is timed? Because unintentionally we do teach the value of time. But it is always ignored. The value of time for oneself as well as other’s time, and time management is one of the most important assets to one’s personality that can make or break one’s life. How to manage one’s time needs to be firmly cultured to children.
  • Human Relationship Dynamics: What we see and feel like a child, as an adolescent, as an adult, or as an experienced individual, changes drastically. One must be taught about how to handle and balance multiple human relationships at the same time. One must be educated on how to converse and treat the opposite gender in a respectable fashion. One must be told the do’s and don’ts to maintain any healthy relationship, such as friendship, parent-child relationship, siblings, marriage, etc. If this is not told at that age, don’t expect the person to handle in his adult life to talk and act correctly.
  • Home Economics & Management: Girl or boy, not many of us actually know how to run a house, or what goes in to have a fully functional house, unless things are actually thrown upon us in our adulthood. Home economics and management must be a subject that needs to be taught and trained practically so that children are self-sufficient and independent, not just in professional life, but in personal life as well.
  • Importance of Vitamin F: Yes! As I mentioned in my other blog, the importance of Vitamin F needs to be strongly infused in their mental growth system. Yes, Vitamin Failure, needs to be fed. Children must be allowed to fail, fall down, and then dust themselves, get up, learn from their mistakes, and rise up again. Failure is important. Failure is inevitable. This must be taught categorically.

Yes, it would be tough to include such topics in the regular syllabus of school education. Having said that, remember, a school is a place where we sow the first seeds of life for a child. If we don’t sow the right fertile seeds and nurture it with the right education, schooling is going to be futile. If not in regular school syllabus, let’s come together as a society, to consciously teach our children about these topics as early as their formative years. Let’s have open discussions to impart life skills to the upcoming generation.


  • Saravanan

    Don’t agree that these should be part of school
    There is already enough load with existing subjects and also would become mundane . I think l parents should create opportunities for the same in the larger space of society.

    • Ila

      Agreed that school is already overloaded… But lifeskills are more important i believe. These are the ones that are going help lead a life peacefully 🙂 So I personally feel when a child spends most of its day time in school, it is mandatory that, such subjects needs to be taught in school. And when learnt with friends of the same age, it matters. When parents teach, it ends up more being like a after school activity or advice 🙂 Thank you for commenting. Your opinion matters 🙂

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