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Giving Pupils Life Skills

Giving Pupils Life Skills

Nineteen pupils from various schools in KwaZulu-Natal were recently given the opportunity to participate in the Skills for Life Programme at the Durban University of Technology’s Sherwood premises recently.

The five-day workshop, organised by the DUT E-Skills Colab in partnership with the Metropolitan and Momentum (MMI) Foundation and Actuaries on The Move (AOTM) was facilitated by Liesl Van Heerden and Arlene Hangout from Cape Town.

“The programme was developed to prepare pupils with core life skills and to bridge the gap between school and tertiary environments as well as promote behavioral changes that will assist them in being successful students in schools and life in general,” said Van Heerden and Hangout.

Colin Thakur, Director of the iNeSi e-Skills CoLab at DUT, said, “For the last three years, we have been championing this programme. We use ICT to assist grade 11 and 12 pupils with potential to excel in subjects that include English, Mathematics and Physics every Saturday and school holidays,” he said.

Hemesh Ramlal, a prefect at Sastri College, said the MMI Skills for Life Programme taught them life skills that included conflict resolution and self-esteem. They also learnt communication skills and body language. “The programme was tremendous and the pupils learnt a lot from the facilitators. This included anger management and tips of ways to manage the new tertiary education environment. It was a tremendous program, very helpful, cool and released lots of stress. I would recommend this for every age group,” he said.

Simphiwe Mcoyi of Asoka Secondary School commended the MMI Skills for Life Programme.

“This helps to make us better people. I learnt to set aside differences and understand the difficulties of others. The programme also helps you to set aside negative energies and learn a few things about self-introspection,” he said.

The self-empowering and stress release tool known as TRE (tension and trauma release exercises) is also taught during the programme. TRE is an innovative series of six exercises assisting the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma.

“The programme challenged the learners’ comfort zones and thinking especially in terms of self-awareness, emotional intelligence and assertiveness. We are of the opinion that current winter schools available to grade 12 learners focus purely on the enhancement of academic results. There is nothing wrong with that, but in order for learners need to perform optimally and be successful in life, they also require life skills,” said facilitators Van Heerden and Hangout.


– Waheeda Peters


Pictured: Pupils at the five-day Skills for Life Programme workshop.

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