by Christine Zahm
Many kids in Lebanon go to public schools that don’t teach them the skills they need to get ahead in life. Many others aren’t in school at all. The children come from vulnerable backgrounds. Sometimes their parents lack important life skills too.
Families who strive to help their children succeed often emphasize their academic studies. But soft skills get neglected. When these youth graduate and enter the job market, they need to be able to market themselves, look for work and negotiate their salaries. They lack these basic life skills.
Beyond finding work, there are many essential skills useful in all areas of life. Skills such as empathy, communication, and cooperation are very important, particularly in a society with many divisions between religious communities and between citizens and refugees, and amidst great economic hardship. And there are all sorts of false messages that youth are exposed to through Whatsapp and other sources. They need critical thinking skills to discern what is credible and what isn’t.
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