Life Skills Training Revives Hope for Out-of-School Students

By the end of July 2022, UNICEF had trained 70 facilitators during three sessions on life skills

15 August 2022

The seven-year-old conflict in Yemen has caused economic and living conditions to deteriorate more than ever, creating significant obstacles that prevent children from accessing education.  

To build the capacity of Yemeni educators, UNICEF – with funding from the European Union’s humanitarian arm (ECHO) – has conducted a life skills training program to equip teachers with the competencies required to deal with displaced children who have missed out on school.  

"The life skills that we were trained on will contribute to improving the quality and efficiency of education in non-formal education centers”, says Ibrahim Muhammad Al-Othmani, an English language teacher at Omar Ibn Al-Khattab Secondary School in Marib governorate. Training also helps teachers to convince children to join the non-formal education programme where they will be able to acquire new skills to help them manage their time inside the camps. "The training comprises practical and theoretical activities, including creative thinking, critical thinking, respecting other’s points of view, cooperation, and participation skills,” Ibrahim elaborates.  

"Such interventions enhance students' life skills, helping them overcome difficulties, boost their confidence, and cope with the challenges the current conditions in Yemen poses,” he explains. “I am very happy to have received this UNICEF-supported training; I learnt new skills to overcome the obstacles I face at work. I am now qualified to teach those life skills to students who have been out of school and internally displaced students using innovative teaching methodologies,” he emphasizes. 

Wafaa Sharaf Mahyoub, a teacher and facilitator working with internally displaced students at Al-Mithaq School, says participating in this training will enhance her performance and expand her knowledge. “The training helped me as a facilitator who is responsible of helping the internally displaced students who were forced to drop out of school due to social or psychological conditions,” she explains.  

Female participants in the life skills training supported by UNICEF in Marib

Displacement is the main challenge Wafaa and many other teachers face; it results in overcrowded classrooms, which affects the educational environment negatively and leads to increase in drop-out rates. “Promoting life skills among students will help them navigate the problems they face in their school, home, and community,” Wafaa adds. “Building a strong community starts with education, so providing life skills training contributes to raising an educated generation capable of overcoming the challenges it faces,” she explains. By the end of the training, Wafaa has developed the ability to revive the love of learning within students through conducting educational activities that touch students’ feelings, and thus, changing their negative attitude.  

“I am glad I have received this training; it will enable me to work as life skills facilitator at the school I work in.” Wafaa, a teacher 

Teachers participating in the life skills training held in Marib governorate

This life skills training aims at increasing teachers’ awareness of students’ rights and stresses the importance of creating a friendly learning environment at all the schools receiving internally displaced students. "The importance of this training lies in introducing teachers to life skills and how to apply them effectively to instill sound values and change any problematic behavior in schools and child-friendly spaces,” says Zohour Yahya Al-Jabi, a life skills and psychosocial support trainer. 

“The training program has had a positive impact on the teachers themselves.” Zohour Al-Jabi, a life skills trainer 

“The participants have had the opportunity to share their experiences while being trained on 14 life skills. The training program has had a positive impact on the teachers themselves and they, in turn, will train students on them,” she emphasizes. “Acquiring this set of personal and psychological skills will enable students to make sound decisions and maintain effective communication in an attempt to help them to adapt to their conditions and develop healthy personalities,” she clarifies. "I am greatly satisfied with the outcomes of this UNICEF-supported training because it plays an effective role in supporting drop-outs and internally displaced students,” she concludes.  

Thanks to generous financial support from the European Union’s humanitarian arm (ECHO), by the end of July 2022, UNICEF had trained 70 facilitators during three sessions on life skills.