Over diffidence, anger, confliction in interpersonal relationship and

Over
the decades, educating people about health has been an important strategy for preventing
illness and injury. Ensuring that children are healthy and able to learn is an
essential part of an effective education system. As many studies show,
education and health are inseparable. Gradually, educational approaches have
turned more to skill development and address all aspects of health, including
physical, social, emotional, and mental well-being. Educating children and
adolescents can instill positive health behaviours in the early years and prevent
risk and premature death where adolescence has become the victim of various
health risk behaviour like drugs abuse, alcohol abuse suicide etc. Drug and substance abuse is a serious
problem adversely affecting the social fabric of the country. Addiction to
drugs not only affects the individual’s health but also disrupts their families
and the whole society. Regular consumption of various psychoactive substances
leads to drug dependence of the individual. Some drug compounds may lead to
neuropsychiatric disorders and other diseases such as cardiovascular diseases,
as well as accidents, suicides and violence. The highly
competitive world of today and the absence of traditional norms and support
have heightened the stress among adolescents resulting in multiple mental
health issues such as depression, anxiety, loneliness, rejection, diffidence,
anger, confliction in interpersonal relationship and failure (Smith et al.
2004), falling to the prey of Drug abuse,  alcohol abuse and
criminal behaviour among the adolescents. Life skills based health education is
very significant in preventing these kinds of health risk behaviour. Various
agencies like UNICEF, WHO, the World
Bank and UNFPA have worked together to encourage more schools and
communities across the globe to use skills-based health education, including
life skills, as the method for improving health and education. Together, these
agencies are dedicated to fostering effective school health programmes that
implement skills-based health education along with school health policies, a healthy
and supportive environment, and health services together in all schools.

Over the past twenty years, “life
skills” have become part of the vocabulary in health education and the
prevention of health risk behaviour among adolescence. Life skills education
emerged from a growing concern about certain health problems with particular
impact on young people, including HIV/AIDS, sexual behavior, drugs, alcohol,
peer influence, and youth suicide. However life skills education has been
taught with various underlying reasons such as, in Zimbabwe and Thailand the
impetus for initiating life skills education was the prevention of HIV/AIDS. In
Mexico, it was the prevention of adolescent pregnancy. In the United Kingdom,
an important life skills initiative was set up to contribute to child abuse
prevention, and in the USA there are numerous life skills programmes for the
prevention of substance abuse and violence. In South Africa and Colombia an
important stimulus for life skills education has been the desire to create a
curriculum for education for life, called “Life Orientation” education in South
Africa and “Integral Education” in Colombia. In short life skills education can
be used in different aspects and in different situation whenever and wherever
required.

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Conceptual Background:

Life skills:

Life skills have been defined as “the
abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal
effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life” (WHO, 1993). ‘Adaptive’ means that a person is
flexible in approach and is able to adjust in different circumstances. ‘Positive behavior’ implies that a
person is forward looking and even in difficult situations, can find a ray of
hope and opportunities to find solutions.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Life-Skills education refers to “a behaviour change or behaviour development
approach designed to address balance of three areas: knowledge, attitude and
skills”. The UNICEF definition is based
on research evidence that suggests that shifts in risk behaviour are unlikely
if knowledge, attitudinal and skill based competencies are not addressed.

Life skills are abilities for adaptive
and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the
demands and challenges of everyday life. In particular, life skills are a group
of psychosocial competencies and interpersonal skills that help people make
informed decisions, solve problems, think critically and creatively,
communicate effectively, build healthy relationships, empathize with others,
and cope with and manage their lives in a healthy and productive manner. There are many such
skills, but core life skills lay down by WHO include:

1.
Self-awareness                                2.
Empathy

3.
Critical thinking                              4.
Creative thinking

5.
Decision making                             6.
Problem Solving

7.
Effective communication                8.
Interpersonal relationship

9.
Coping with stress                          10.
Coping with emotion

 

Life-Skills Based Education (LSBE) has a long history of
supporting child development and health promotion. In 1986, the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion
recognized Life-Skills in terms of making better health choices. The 1989 Convention on the Rights of
the Child (CRC) linked Life Skills to education by stating that
education should be directed towards the development of the child’s fullest potential. The 1990 Jomtien Declaration on ‘Education for All’ took this vision further and
included Life-Skills among essential learning tools for survival, capacity
development and quality of life. In
a meeting held in Senegal, Darkar 2000, the Darker Framework of Action (2000)
referred life skills in goal 3 ensuring that the learning needs of all young
services; policies and codes of conduct that enhance physical, psychosocial,
and emotional health of teachers and learners; and education content and
practices that lead to the knowledge, attitudes, values and life skills. Students
need to develop and maintain self-esteem, good health, and personal safety. The
supporting agencies, UNICEF, WHO, the
World Bank and UNFPA, and their partners Focusing Resources on Effective
School Health (FRESH) agreed that skills-based health education is an essential
component of a cost-effective school health programme. 

Life-Skills Based
Education is now recognized as a methodology to address a variety of 
issues of child and youth development and thematic responses including as
expressed in UNGASS on HIV/AIDS (2001), UNGASS on Children (2002), World Youth
Report (2003), World Program of Human Rights Education (2004), 

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