Assessing psycho-social life skills development in international schools in Uganda. A case of Timberland International Christian Academy
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The purpose of this study was to explore how life skills are developed in International schools in Uganda using a case of Timberland International Christian Academy. It investigated teacher’s perceived importance of life skills, the types of life skills which are developed among learners, as well as the teaching strategies used to develop those life skills. In-depth interviews were used while collecting information from a sample of five teachers, two Administrators, three learners, and one parent who were selected purposively to participate in the study. Besides, document analysis and non-participant observation were also used to collect and triangulate data. The findings of this study show that Timberland International Christian Academy puts an extra effort in the development of psychosocial life skills among learners since the school adopted appropriate life skills development strategies which instill life skills within the learners. The study recommended in-service courses for all the teachers involved in teaching LSE in schools so as to recognize LSE as a fully-fledged subject with its benefits including bringing up a holistic person. Furthermore, teachers should endeavor to create awareness through engagements with parents to appreciate the benefits of life skills so that they can create situations that allow children to develop, practice and consolidate life skills which will make the implementation a continuous practice even at home. Besides, the teacher should create various opportunities for learner participation in different activities at school that involve working together cooperatively, encourage them to think positively about themselves, their abilities, friends/peers, work, tasks in the class and health among others through focusing on children’s positive situations and undertakings. Parents should put in place supportive disciplinary environments at home so as to reinforce positive life skills behavior in a more participatory manner. It is recommended that studies be done in the following areas; how the pre-primary years facilitate learners (pupils’) life skills development and prepare children for school life in the later school Grades (levels), parental influences on children’s life skills development is a necessity as parenting is constantly changing with globalization and socio-economic demands and the influence of musical instruments and athletics on learners’ life skills development needs to be conducted, to tease out which particular life skill is developed by each instrument or game.