Let’s discuss life skills, psychosocial competency & TVET skills


We are getting to the era where an essential skill required for everyday participation in life is very paramount. I always say, “Knowing and not doing is not knowing”. Our ability to use these essential skills effectively and efficiently as a concept to solving challenges of life and daily demands placed at our doorsteps is termed psychosocial competency. This was put forward by research gate in a study on stress and its correlatives with family environment. The appropriate uses of this concept assisting us develop into dynamic and industrious members of our communities are termed life skills.

A mastery use of these life essential skills enables us to manage common workplace and home challenges and positions us for prompt development. Employers look out for many life skills in potential candidates during the process of recruitment yet how do we juxtapose this stance with the reality check that many of these life skills are not taught in our schools. This mastery of skills therefore comes with practice, development and understanding of constant improvement. I have always advocated that “constant practice never makes perfect”. This is because constant practice of the wrong skills will produce mastery perfection of the wrong skills but “constant practice of the right skills the right way produces mastery perfection of this right skills. Let us take a look at the future of work and psychosocial competency by deliberating on life skills for the present and future workplace.

How can we all learn to manage things better at work? How about our relationship issues? According to the global evaluation of life skills education programmes reported by UNICEF, there is no absolute list of this psychosocial skills.

The meaning and relevance of this skills changes from culture to culture and life positions equating the concept to be elastic in nature.  A case in point is considering decision-making which habitually consist of critical thinking of options, values clarification and importance of emotion and reaction at a given point. In 1999, according to the report on “partners in life skills education: conclusions from the United Nations inter-agency meeting”, the World Health Organization acknowledged some core cross-cultural areas of life skills we need to be mindful which include;

  • Decision – making and problem – solving skills
  • Self-awareness and empathy skills
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Resilience to coping with stress and emotions
  • Assertiveness and equanimity and
  • Critical thinking

One big principle we all need to know in life is this; “Life is all about problem solving”. We can learn to solve problems when we are directly involved in activities, and or event.

During this era of the new normal, where many people are still working from home, our time is divided between our work and parenting responsibilities, as a result there are several other life skills we can all learn and encourage our children to do same. Let’s look at these 20 life skills

Technical / vocational skills

  1. Learning to clean and basic housekeeping skills. To keep you organized, it’s very important that we always learn to keep a clean environment by tidying up our home. Start with simple rules and guidelines for the children. Gone were the days when we were made to sweep each morning at school. It was a way of teaching us to learn these basic life skills. Fast forward to our days now, we employ people to get these simple things accomplished. There is nothing wrong with doing that however, it has helped create jobs for many people. Let us take advantage of this new normal and teach our children to learn how to lay their bed first thing in the morning, wash their plates, bowls and cutlery when they finish eating, to learning to wash their own clothes and undergarments.
  1. Basic cooking skills – I was trained by a mother who felt either gender should learn and know basic cooking skills to begin with. As a result, my sister’s in law today are very happy and blessed to have hubbies who can support them cook and take care of their home. Let’s not ascribe gender roles to basic life skills activities where women must be taught only how to clean and wash and men how to do other gender ascribed jobs. Male and female hormones have contributed to girls learning to play with their dolls whiles boys towards their football. However, we are living in a time where some girls also play soccer as a career whiles some men take up catering as a career too. Learning and introducing these basic life skills now to our children will help them know how to cook and or assist in cutting the ingredients or stir the soup when cooking is ongoing. Let’s involve the children and make it fun. Involving the boys now will help them appreciate how to support their wives at home to attend to basic home keeping needs.
  1. Basic sewing skills – During this coronavirus pandemic, I taught the kids and together we tried putting together our own nose masks. I tried teaching them also how to sew a button or fix a hem. It may not look perfect, but it’s fun to practice. Let’s start from somewhere.
  1. Maintenance skills – We can try our hands on basic home maintenance skills to help improve our homes. This can include how to unclog a toilet or our sink. Learning to keep our cooking and other utensils clean, keep the fridge clean amongst others. Learning to maintain basic plumber and electrical works
  1. Time management skills -Blocking time on our calendars/phone to help us manage ourselves effectively and effectively.

Other skills to include; 

  1. Survival skills – Can your children survive on certain foods or move around easily without being driven? What about knowing how to read the map to know we move up North and down South.
  1. Emergency skills – How about teaching the children to learn basic first aid skills in preparedness for unexpected eventualities. We do not need first aid toolkits only in our vehicles, at schools or in the offices. Please set them up in the homes as well. Have you gone camping before or lived without electricity for a number of days?
  1. Learning to wash our own vehicles without recourse to the use of a washing bay
  1. How to fix a flat tyre
  2. How to prioritize our daily routine tasks among others
  3. How to discover your true potential,
  4. How to learn to keep focus, as we get what we focus on.
  5. Basic etiquette,
  6. Learning how to be humane in life and not always seen to be amazing
  7. Learning value and respect for old age,
  8. Emotional intelligence
  9. Self –care,
  10. Public speaking,
  11. Backward farming
  12. Effective communication amongst others.

We can deduce from the aforementioned that these skills for work and life are the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) skills we need for lifelong learning. TVET has been modernized in Ghana. You do not need to attend a 3-year daily apprenticeship or schooling session to learn some of these basic skills. Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC-Ghana) is denoted for providing master-class TVET sessions for business professionals and busy executives.

Think of a life skill to learn together. This can lead you to becoming an entrepreneur on the side. A useful skill you can fall back on during your pension to be active and industrious again if in corporate management currently.

Which other life skills have you learnt during this period of the new normal?. I want to hear back from you. Write to us [email protected] |call or WhatsApp: +233(0)262213313/ 0243213313.  Follow our social media pages on Facebook |Twitter |Instagram |LinkedIn: FoReal HR Services to contribute to this discussion.

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