- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
Kenyan students can now access life skills such as leadership programs through the syllabus following the launch of the Franklin Covey’s Leader in Me program in the country’s primary and secondary schools.
“Our schools are focused on preparing our children academically such that life skills have been put on the back burner. This program offers life skills that teach our children how to be independent and become self-sufficient,” said Mr. Ian Ng’ethe, Chief Executive Officer of Raiser Resource Group, who are offering the program to Kenyan schools.
The importance of life skills to students was emphasized by Macmillan Education through an article on their website titled, Why are life skills important, noting that life skills are not just essential for dealing with the challenges of everyday life but also help in coping with the associated pressures and the need for flexibility in careers.
“While students work hard to get good grades, many still struggle to gain employment. According to research by the Confederation of British Industry in 2011 employers were looking not just for academic success but key employability skills including: the ability to self-manage, solve problems and understand the business environment, working well as part of a team, time and people management, agility and adaptability to different roles and flexible working environments and the potential to lead by influence,” said Macmillan.
It is these life skills that the Leader in Me program, which is influenced by the book , 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is looking to teach Kenyan students by creating a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader.
“We are introducing this program because we believe that every Kenyan child is capable of being a leader. This program will allow teachers to use an integrated approach that makes leadership training part of everything they do.” said Mr. Ng’ethe.
Globally, it has been implemented in more than 3000 schools across 50 countries in which they have noted; increased students’ self-confidence, teamwork, initiative, creativity, leadership, problem-solving, communication, diversity awareness and academic performance, improved school culture, dramatic decreases in disciplinary issues, increased teacher pride and engagement, greater parent satisfaction and involvement in children’s school work.
The program is however not designed as an academic program but schools use it as a goal-setting and data-tracking process to help clarify academic priorities and encourage students to take greater ownership over their education, all of which can impact academic progress.