School’s great. Sometimes it’s boring, sometimes I can’t be bothered, and there have been many times where I’ve wanted to throw my books out of the window.
But it’s mostly a good thing. You learn everything from why WWI began to painting techniques. After that, you do your exams and start working. Job done!
But there’s a massive gap in the curriculum, and that’s life skills. Here’s what I think should be taught in schools.
Cooking. I know we already have cooking lessons, but all I ever learned to cook was fruit salad – which, um, doesn’t actually require any cooking – and cupcakes.
Those lessons were fun, but when I leave home I won’t be able to have cupcakes for dinner every night.
Knowing how to cook is important.
Next up – jobs! What kind of jobs are out there? What does a perfect CV look like?
How do we get the jobs we want? And, if we don’t know what we want to do later in life, what should we do? What questions are asked in job interviews, and should you try to be funny, conversational or formal?
Then there’s finance. Mind-numbingly boring, but essential. We might be young but we’ll need to know about taxes, mortgages and loans at some point.
Tips on money management would be good, too, because saving money is hard for everyone.
Not forgetting the topic of relationships. It would be great for students to learn what to do if they’re ever in an abusive relationship.
And what happens if a friend or family member is suffering from a mental illness? I don’t think I ever learned about it at school, despite doing PSHE once a week and later suffering from a mental illness myself.
People need to know what a mental illness is, how to deal with it, what support is available, and how to help a loved one if they’re going through it. We have PE for physical health – what about mental health?
How about our government? We could learn about voting, why it’s important and which parties are out there. We could learn about how our government system actually works and spark some debate.
Learning how to drive would be useful, too.
I’m not saying we should have actual driving tests at school, but if we did some theory every couple of weeks or so, we would be more likely to pass first time by the time we were old enough to take the actual test.
We’d be safer drivers, too, if we had been preparing for a couple of years.
What about first aid skills? At the beginning of secondary school we had one day where first aid specialists came in to teach us things like how to put people in the recovery position and what to do in emergency situations, but I can’t remember how to do either of these, and I won’t be the only one.
Learning first aid should be a constant in schools, not just a day. It could save lives.
We’re teenagers and we’re about to be thrust into the big wide world, so why aren’t we learning how to survive?