OVERVIEW

The National Life Skills Education Programme was first established in 2004. In February 2012, under the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training, Cabinet approved the establishment of a National Life Skills Curriculum Review Committee. The mandate of this committee was to assess the validity of the content of the Life Skills Curriculum and to produce a revised version in order to facilitate its alignment to the changing needs of the youth in Trinidad and Tobago. 

The work of the committee resulted in the revision of the National Life Skills Curriculum and Workbook for the National Life Skills Education Programme- Pathways to Living Well, which was completed in 2013.  

VISION

The coordination and regulation of the delivery of standardized, quality Life Skills Education and Training in all institutional and post-secondary programmes, with trained facilitators and resources to enable the development of innovative and caring individuals with the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to make life-sustaining choices that will contribute to healthy and productive lifestyles and perform social action that will support their holistic development as full citizens of Trinidad & Tobago.

MISSION 

To ensure the implementation of the National Life Skills Education Programme targeted to persons out of school; in tertiary education programmes; in the community; in the business world; and the general public using a variety of methodologies including those for open and distance education and training.

ROLE

The Life Skills Unit under the purview of the National Training Agency (NTA) has been charged with the responsibility of coordinating the delivery of standardized quality Life Skills Education and Training in all programmes for participants 16 years and over.

BENEFITS

WHAT ARE LIFE SKILLS AND WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT? 

The World Health Organisation (1993) explains that Life Skills ‘are abilities which help us to adapt and behave positively so that we can deal effectively with the challenges of everyday life.” 

The National Life Skills Education Programme is designed to assist in building positive and noble character as well as confidence, enthusiasm and discipline (morale) in our citizens for the betterment of our country. By developing awareness and understanding, they will be better prepared to move forward in life for the holistic development of themselves and others. This will be most effective with a vision of building a civilized society that is harmonious, just, productive and respected. Our society is faced with challenges of being influenced by a globalized environment where traditional norms and lifestyles are being replaced by moral uncertainty. While technologies are constantly evolving, and while it is known that workers and entrepreneurs need to keep abreast to avoid falling into the skills gap, the reality is that young people today need more than just technical skills for the workplace. It is for this reason that the National Life Skills Education Programme was developed; to address these challenges. Our educational and training systems must respond to the numerous national, regional and global challenges to ensure that our future generation is better equipped for life beyond the classroom. 

TRAINING

Train the Trainer Workshops 

Train the Trainer Workshops have been developed to expose tutors to the National Life Skills Curriculum and Workbook and to the various andragogical teaching methodologies in order to facilitate the effective delivery of the programme.

Training workshops and seminars have been conducted with: 

  • The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT); 
  • Army Learning Centre- Ministry of National Security; 
  • SACHA Cosmetics Ltd;
  • S.E.P.O.S. Cultural Workshop Inc.;
  • Paperless Office; 
  • On-The-Job Training Programme (OJTP); 
  • T&T College of Therapeutic Massage and Beauty Culture; 
  • Agriculture NOW- Ministry of Agriculture; 
  • School Health Screening- Ministry of Health; 
  • National Energy Skills Centre (NESC); 
  • Borderless Horizons; 
  • National Security Training Agency and 
  • A-Class Draperies and Interiors Ltd. 
  • The Good News (TGN) Media Group

Training of Participants

The National Life Skills Unit has delivered custom-tailored Life Skills Education Programmes to participants of various training providers. 

 

Continuous Professional Development

Workshops/ seminars are held monthly with organizations that deliver the National Life Skills Education Programme.  The objective of these meetings is to expose administrators, training specialists and tutors of National Life Skills Programmes to teaching methodologies, measurement and evaluation processes and strategies, and engage in discussion on issues pertaining to the further development and delivery of the National Life Skills Curriculum.

These training providers include:

•   Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training: NESC, YTEPP, NTA, MIC, UTT; 

•   Ministry of National Security: MILAT; 

•   Ministry of Community Development: ECCL, GAPP; 

•   Ministry of Gender, Youth and Child Development: Non-traditional Skills Training for Women, Women in Harmony Programme; 

•   Ministry of Works and Infrastructure: URP and 

•   Non-Governmental organizations: SERVOL.

 

MONITORING AND EVALUATION 

A revision of the National Life Skills monitoring and evaluation instruments was completed in consultation with public Life Skills training providers; the unit has commenced their implementation via these providers. Scheduling of monitoring and evaluation visits to current public and private Life Skills training providers is ongoing.

COLLABORATION WITH EXTERNAL AGENCIES 

The unit has established a relationship with the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. An MOU was signed between the National Life Skills Unit and the Central Bank FIDA (Financial Inclusion Development Agency) for the delivery of the Financial Management module of the National Life Skills Curriculum.

CERTIFICATION 

The National Life Skills Unit has initiated the certification process for tutors and participants of the programme with the Quality Assurance and Accreditation, Programme Development and Management, Occupational Standards and Support Departments at the NTA. 

MARKETING 

Informal and formal discussions were held with a number of prospective public and private training institutions. These include:

  • Army Learning Centre- Ministry of National Security;
  • SACHA Cosmetics Ltd.;
  • S.E.P.O.S. Cultural Workshop Inc.;
  • Paperless Office;
  • T&T College of Therapeutic Massage and Beauty Culture;
  • Agriculture NOW- Ministry of Agriculture;
  • School Health Screening- Ministry of Health;
  • NESC;
  • Borderless Horizons;
  • National Security Training Agency;
  • A-Class Draperies;
  • Good News Media;
  • Caribbean Diving and Marine Ltd.;
  • Madame Maharaj School of Cosmetology;
  • Birdsongs;
  • The Face and Body Clinic;
  • Trinidad Tower Cranes;
  • Trinidad and Tobago Business Etiquette and Protocol Specialists Ltd.;
  • Tourism Information and Products Services (TIPS);
  • School of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and
  • RSC International.

Outreach 

The National Life Skills Unit participated in various outreach initiatives such as the:

MTEST Community Conversations at

  • Bamboo Settlement #1 Presbyterian Primary School;
  • Gulf View Community Centre;
  • El Dorado- Tunapuna Regional Corporation;
  • Trade and Investment Convention 2014 and
  • Divali Nagar Celebrations 2014.

Media 

Interviews with the National Life Skills Unit Manager and members of the cabinet-appointed Life Skills Advisory Committee were recorded and transmitted via radio and television. In addition, articles highlighting the importance of the programme have been published in the “Tutor” newspaper of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association; two (2) to date, with a guarantee of space in the newspaper for future articles. To further expand the reach of the programme, the unit has launched a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ntalifeskills.

Tobago Launch

In October, 2014 the National Life Skills Unit held its formal launch of the programme in Tobago. Courtesy visits were made to:

  • Civilian Conservation Corps Tobago;
  • NESC, Tobago;
  • Infinity Home, Tobago;
  • Bethel Empowerment Skills Training;
  • THA Community Development;
  • Division of Education, THA and 
  • Division of Health, THA.

ACCESS TO TRAINING

HOW TO ACCESS TRAINING 

Public Training Providers 

Life Skills training can be accessed through an array of academic and TVET training programmes offered by various government ministries. These public providers include:

  • The On-the-Job Training Programme- National Training Agency, MTEST; 
  • Metal Industries Company Limited- MTEST;
  • National Energy Skills Centre- MTEST; 
  • Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme- MTEST;    
  • SERVOL- Service for All – NGO; 
  • Geriatric Adolescence Partnership Programme- Ministry of Community Development; 
  • The University of Trinidad and Tobago- MTEST and 
  • Military-led Academic Training- Ministry of National Security. 

Private Training Providers

We also offer Life Skills training for private institutions, religious and community groups. 

These programmes use a blended approach, integrating the teaching of Life Skills with their technical and vocational skills training, in an effort to produce all-rounded participants who are not just equipped with knowledge in their respective occupational areas, but are also equipped with the soft skills, knowledge and attitudes, that would make them an asset in the workplace and capable of making healthy, life sustaining choices and facing the challenges of everyday life.

GETTING INVOLVED IN THE LIFE SKILLS EDUCATION PROGRAMME 

Please submit a request to the Manager, National Life Skills Unit, expressing your institution’s interest in becoming a Life Skills Training Provider and submitting information on the various services offered by your institution.