In a world that is increasingly run by technology and information the emphasis on education is justifiably turning to science, technology, engineering and mathematics – subjects that prepare students for future courses and careers.  However, life skills – that arm students to enable them to make good decisions and solve problems in their professional careers as well as in their private lives – also have a critical role to play in holistic education.  

Life skills are the platforms that allow students to apply the knowledge they have gained at school to life problems and situations. Known also as soft skills in the professional context they refer to one’s ability to think and face one’s problems from different angles to find practical solutions and one’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively. They are as important as technical information in a particular sector or an academic subject. 

Life skills are essential to face everyday challenges. Significant changes in the world economy that have occurred in the last few years have led the technological transformation and this is having an impact on education, the workplace and family life. 

Life skills go beyond choosing a university course or impressing your future employer. Life skills provide students with essential development tools such as, for example, independent thinking, socialising and making new friends and how to act in situations in the absence of intervention by parents and teachers. 

In everyday life, the development of life skills helps students to, among other things, recognise the impact of their actions and take responsibility for their actions rather than put blame on others. 

In general, the more we develop our individual life skills, the more these can affect and benefit the society we live in. Respect towards diversity encourages creativity and imagination and helps develop a more tolerant society. 

Moreover, the development of negotiation skills, the ability to network and to empathise can help us to find resolutions to problems rather than create more suffering.