We learn many valuable things at school, many of which are not all too useful like 'finding X', but hey, perhaps one day I'll need to so let's leave it at that. However, in terms of practical skills that make navigating the real world better, I think public schools are really lacking. I've identified what I feel public schools in South Africa should provide as part of the life orientation programme. Perhaps they offer it now but they didn't back when I was at school... and I can tell you, these things would have been pretty useful for me to know!
1. First-Aid. Because a degree won't help me when I need to save someone's life.
2. Basic self-defence. Unfortunately this doesn't tackle the issue of crime in the country but it does set you up with the skills to help yourself in a tricky situation. Also, you build muscle. And that's never a bad thing.
3. How to fix a tyre. Really. There might be that time you road trip and you need to change your tyre out in the woods. I'm 25 and I still can't do this. Okay, I've never tried.
4. How to make a fire. We’re so spoilt with luxuries, but if push came to shove, would you be able to turn those sticks into a blazing fire for a lekker braai?
5. How to write a cheque. Imagine you’re all accomplished and what not and you can’t fill a simple cheque out.
6. How to fill out forms. Apparently many people struggle with this one.
7. How to do your tax returns yourself. We cannot always afford to pay someone else to do it, and even if we can, we should know what they’re doing right? And apparently its quite simple, yet my dad still does mine for me.
8. What to do and not do after being raped. It shouldn’t happen, and it’s heart-breaking that we need to teach kids what to do after such a horrifying incident. But if a rape does occur, the victim should know that they should not have washed and so forth.
9. How to build up your CV. CV-writing and interview skills are essential!
10. How to fix a light bulb, a blocked drain and so forth. You may forget you need to know these things till you’re living alone and you’re broke.
11. How to send a letter via snail mail. Now that we’ve progressed so much in the forms of communication, the less common means of communicating becomes so foreign that perhaps only the grandparents can assist.
12. The length of a kilometre. It should be shown literally. Irks me how some people don't know this.
13. What a healthy diet entails. Not to be skinny. Not to lose weight. But to be healthy.
14. Career options, and not the typical, doctor, lawyer, journalist. Let’s get more specific…