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Life skills


Children place their outstretched hands on a brightly coloured banner to express their vision of a healthy natural environment
© UNICEF/ HQ02-0496/ Pirozzi

What does it take to thrive in a world with HIV and AIDS, conflict and violence, gender, ethnic and other kinds of discrimination, disasters and emergencies, poverty, homelessness, hunger? And if you struggle with such burdens as a child or young person, what kind of adult do you become?

These questions lead to others: Can coping methods and resiliency be taught and learned? Are literacy and numeracy skills enough to prepare the next generation of parents, workers, citizens, and leaders? What does it mean to provide children and young people with “quality education?”

To improve its technical assistance to providers of life skills education, UNICEF proposes revised recommendations and standards for the design, delivery and evaluation of quality life skills education programmes (see right hand box).

These recommendations and standards are discussed in greater detail in other pages within this site; in particular, at Concepts & Definitions, Standards and Benchmarks, Lessons learned, Getting started, and Monitoring, assessment and evaluation. In addition, this site showcases promising examples of life skills education from around the world, and catalogues studies that have evaluated life skills-based programmes.

The site is intended to offer guidance on the design, implementation and evaluation of life skills education in content areas that are critical to achieving UNICEF’s mission of advancing humanity by promoting child rights: namely, HIV and AIDS prevention, care and support; Health Education; Human Rights and Social Issues; and Violence Prevention, Peace Building and Education for Development.We hope this site serves as a useful thinking and meeting place on the web, and that it will continuously grow and improve from your contributions!




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