“LIFE SKILL EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES”

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                     SIVA Trust organized training on Life Skill Education for Children in Difficult Circumstances at Govt. High. Sec. School, Thirumalapuram.  Mr. A. Narayanan, Project Co-ordinator of SIVA Trust welcomed the participants and Mr. Deenabanthu, Document Assistant, TdH-NL, Mathagondapalli, who was the resource person of training program.  The session was started with participant’s registration, pre-test, knowledge assessment, pre-assessment and explaining the purpose of meeting.  Totally 26 members participated in this training.  The review of follow-up training on psychosocial care for children in difficult circumstances was taken by Mr. Deenabanthu.

Activity: 1

Ice breaking activity was conducted by Mr. S. Ananthapadmanaban, Manager-cum-Counselor, SIVA Trust.  All the participants were divided into 2 groups, Group I & Group II.  Group I was again subdivided and they were asked to stand in two lines facing each other, leaving some space.  Group II members were asked to stand in a line and they had to go through the 2 lines of Group I like a train does.  The same exercise was repeated, but this time Group II members should not touch anyone in Group I.  The same is done again, but they had to reach the end point by hopping. Then Group II members were asked to reach the same end with their eyes closed.  Finally Group II members were asked to reach the end point by hopping with their eyes closed.

Feedback:

  • The task was gradually becoming tougher
  • Completing the task with eyes closed was challenging initially, but they could reach the end following one another with hands joining together
  • All accepted the leadership of one person and followed

Outcome:

  • Life has a starting point & end. When we are about to achieve a goal there are many challenges in between.  Some are easy to overcome and the others may be of high risk.
  • Some challenges are solved individually while some need the help of others
  • For attaining a goal we need creative thinking, problem solving capacity, decision making, looking for other alternatives etc.

LSE for Children & adolescent in difficult circumstances:

Mr. Ananthapadmanaban facilitated this session, when he explained about the need of LSE, how to provide skills to children to get out of problems, need to show the children the way to deal with problems, how to provide counseling to children, how children could get out of difficult circumstances, helping them quickly to come out from the problems and decision making by themselves.  The child learns everything from primary, secondary and tertiary socialization agents.  Mr. Deenabanthu further added that there were more than 3000 programs to develop life skills, but in 1993 WHO integrated all those into 10 skills.

After lunch, Mr. Ananthapadmanaban explaining about LSE, said. “LSE contributes to promotion of personal and social development, protection of human rights, prevention of health and social problems. It is designed to facilitate the practice and reinforcement of personal skills”.  Then Mr. Deena summed up the session in detail. Then the participants listed out 13 difficult circumstances faced by children in their working villages:

  1. Drop outs
  2. Child labour
  3. Child marriage
  4. Run away children
  5. Migration
  6. HIV infected/affected children
  7. Substance abuse
  8. Child sexual abuse
  9. Single parent
  10. Poverty
  11. Neglect
  12. Caste/gender discrimination
  13. physical abuse

The 10 Life Skills evolved by the WHO are clubbed in the following 5 pairs:-

  1. Decision Making
  2. Problem Solving
  3. Creative thinking
  4. Critical thinking
  5. Effective Communication
  6. Interpersonal relationship
  7. Self Awareness
  8. Empathy
  9. Coping with stress
  10. Coping with emotions

Following are the various kinds of methodologies to teach LSE:

  1. Lecture
  2. Lecture cum discussion
  3. Chalk & talk method
  4. Question & Answer method
  5. Quiz method
  6. Brain storming
  7. Buzz groups
  8. Statements
  9. Self-survey techniques
  10. Written assignments
  11. Library assignments
  12. Individual assignments
  13. Simulation Games
  14. Role playing
  15. Real life experience
  16. Case Study
  17. Story telling
  18. Demo
  19. Lab-methods
  20. Panel discussion
  21. SYMPOSIUM
  22. Group discussion
  23. Group activity
  24. Group interview
  25. Workshop
  26. Committee
  27. Seminar
  28. Syndicate method
  29. Conference
  30. Model meeting
  31. Field trip observation
  32. Field training
  33. Exercise
  34. Application Project
  35. Sensitivity training
  36. Training groups
  37. Incident method
  38. In method
  39. Management games

After the session, further explanations were given on the 1st pairs of Life skill by Mr. Ananthapadmanaban & Mrs. Selva Rani.  The decision making and problem solving education were done through some activities like,

Activity 1:

8 members standing in a circle join right hands with their opposite members; join left hands with another person standing near by or opposite members.  Then they have to try to come out and make a circle without leaving their hands.  But the group was not able to do so because there was no co-ordination, advices were coming from many but a decision should have been taken by one.

 

Out come:

  • Many alternatives should be generated
  • Prioritize the alternatives
  • Understanding the problems is must to make decision
  • Decision making is an important step in problem solving

Activity 2:

Two persons stood closer.  The first participant’s hands were tied by a noose in each hand.  The next person’s rope should go through the first person’s rope.  They should separate the knot.  The lesson is that if someone faces a problem, he/she should put himself/herself as a 3rd person to the problem.  Then he/she should generate the alternatives, prioritize them and implement them one by one till success is achieved.

 

Activity 3:

Mr. Ananthapadmanaban explained about critical thinking.  Participants had to separate the ‘L” shaped box into 4 boxes of same size.  It was a methodology of Individual activity.  Mr. Senthil Kumar, NFE teacher had came out with the answer.

Activity 4:
Similarly, the participants were asked to join the 9 dots using 4 lines only without taking the hand out.  All the participants tried hardly but Mrs. K. Marieswari, Community Organizer did correctly.

Creative Thinking: 

Then the participants were divided into 3 groups and they were given one object like Marker pen,   scissor and cell phone, for Group I, II and III respectively.  Each group has to assume their object irrelevant to the real one and present as an object of advertisement creatively.  This activity led one to think creatively in critical situation.

Group 1: They presented marker pen as energy drink and explained its advantages.

Group 2: They used scissor as aero plane

Group 3: They used cell phone as bathing soap.

The next day session was started with a recap of previous day’s learning by Mrs. A. Anu Radha, Health worker.  Then Mr. Ananthapadmanaban continued the session with Interpersonal relationship/Effective communication skills.  Mr. Deena conducted an activity for those skills.

Interpersonal Relationship / Effective communication:

Participants were divided into 2 groups and were asked to stand in 2 lines holding a pen each.  There were some pens in front of them and they had to take pens as much as possible.  But each person had to show 1 pen when the facilitator visits them.  All the groups planned to share the pens and implemented it well.  It could be done well through the good interpersonal relationship.  Then Mrs. Rani started a communication game and after that, Mr. Deena summed up the entire programme. Participants learnt about effective communication skill.

Empathy:

All the participants were divided by pairs and one person from the pair had to do something in action and the other person in the pair had to do mirror image action.  After that, each member from the pairs changed their shoes.  It led one to think about other person’s problem in their situation.

Self Awareness:

 

Participants were asked to write about their own good & bad qualities.  And post card was pasted at their back and the person should write about the good quality of others from what they know about that person.  All were asked to do so.  After that, the participants were asked to write down their good qualities, written by others.  It helped everyone to know about themselves and change their negative thoughts into positive attitudes.

Coping with Emotion:

In this session participants were asked to share their own experience with regard to any loss in their life, and how they handled the situation.  Mr. Narayanan shared his experience and told how he could handle the problem.  Then Mr. Ananthapadmanaban explained how to cope up with emotions.

 

Coping with stress:

            All the participants were asked to make a circle and all were asked to say the numbers like 1, 2, 3, 4 but when the number 5 comes the member should clap their hands instead of saying No.5 and its multiples.

Input:

If we are in stress, we can’t do anything easily.  Stress is an inseparable part of life but it can be minimized by certain ways we deal with it. Then he explained the following ways to cope up with stress:

  • Be in a relaxed mood
  • Listen to music
  • Drink cool water
  • Count the numbers both in ascending and descending orders
  • Spend time at park, theatre etc…
  • Meditate with eyes closed
  • Push the thumb fingers with leg on the earth.

Then the participants were divided into 4 groups and asked to do the activities related to continuing the school education, neglect, drug abuse and school drop out issues, by using appropriate Life skill, through the various methodologies.

The final day was started with the recap of previous day’s learning by Mr. John Kennedy. Then the participants were asked to do some activities regarding various issues mentioned in the first day session by using the 10 life skills through the above said methodologies.  After every session and activity, all the participants were given input on how to facilitate the life skill session.  After the session, vote of thanks was delivered by Mrs. Selva rani.  Then all the staff members of SIVA Trust prepared their own action points.

Learning:

  • Learnt about the Life skill education thoroughly;
  • Learnt about the methodologies & the stages of teaching
  • Learnt how to facilitate the children in difficult circumstances;
  • Trained about how to make them to solve their problem with themselves
  • Learnt about how to cope up with the stress & emotion;
  • Learnt about how to deal with the exploited children;
  • Learnt about how the children could get out of difficult circumstances;
  • Learnt about time & money management.