Life Skills Education (Kenya Institute of Education)

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Background Information

Education is the means by which individuals are equipped with knowledge, skills and values that enable them to become productive citizens. Education is therefore very important in the development of both the individual and the nation. Ages 0-19 are critical formative years for the development of behaviour and skills in an individual. During this period, learners in pre-school, primary and secondary school, including those with special needs in learning, face varied challenges, which need to be addressed. These challenges include among others, negative peer pressure, gender bias, violence, early marriages, teenage pregnancies, indiscipline, career choices, early sexual onset, drug and substance abuse, rape, incest, and HIV and AIDS pandemic. These challenges are compounded by various factors, such as complex developmental changes during adolescence, lack of positive role models, negative mass media influence and inadequate and unreliable sources of information especially on human sexuality. A combination of these challenges render the youth vulnerable to social and health risks, such as HIV infection and other related sexually transmitted diseases.

In the African traditional society, proper structures and mechanisms had been put in place to help the children and the youth develop and grow as responsible and productive members of the society. Traditional education addressed the wholistic view of human personality through the informal education system. However, due to historical reasons, traditional family and educational ties have largely broken down thereby leaving young people vulnerable.

Throughout the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR), there has been a growing awareness that Life Skills Education for children and adolescents have for a long time been largely neglected in education programmes. The formal education system has to prioritize the imparting of academic knowledge. However, it has become increasingly clear that such prioritization of academic knowledge without acquisition of psychosocial skills is an inadequate way of preparing young people for the complex challenges that exist in our world today. Therefore there is need for the youth to be enabled to develop positive values, attitudes, skills and healthy behaviour in order to help them effectively deal with the challenges of everyday life.

The psychosocial challenges cited above can be overcome through Life Skills Education. Kenya Institute of Education (K.I.E.) defines Life Skills Education as abilities which enable an individual develop adaptive and positive behaviour so as to effectively deal with challenges and demands of everyday life. Life Skills Education adopts a comprehensive behaviour change approach that focuses on the development of the whole individual. The Life Skills approach is an interactive, educational methodology that not only focuses on transmitting knowledge but helps the youth to explore their attitudes, feelings, opinions and values thereby developing psychosocial competencies to face life’s challenges effectively.

The main goals of the Life Skills approach is to enhance young people’s ability to take responsibility for making choices, resisting negative pressure and avoiding risky behaviour. Through Life Skills Education, learners acquire and develop skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making, interpersonal relationships, stress and anxiety management, effective communication, self-esteem and assertiveness. Teaching methods are learner centred, youth-friendly, gender sensitive, interactive and participatory.

The need to focus on Life Skills as a critical response to the challenges facing young people today, is highlighted in a number of international recommendations, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Conference on Population and Development, and Education for All. An example of one of these highlights is the UNGASS Declaration which states that; ‘By 2005, ensure that at least 90% and by 2010 at least 95% of young men and women have access to information, education, including peer education and youth – specific HIV Education, and, services necessary to develop life skills required to reduce their vulnerability to HIV infection, in full partnership with young persons, parents, educators and health care providers.’

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has long been aware of the need to adopt Life Skills Education as a remedy to these psychosocial challenges. Different strategies have been put in place to enable the learner manage these challenges. Examples of such strategies are:


1.Establishment of HIV and AIDS project by KIE

The overall goal of the AIDS Education Programme is to prevent the spread of the disease among the youth in and out of school through behaviour change. The project has already carried out a number of activities leading to specific achievements as enumerated below;

  • Conducted Need Assessment Survey within twenty five districts
  • Designed, developed and produced AIDS materials for in-servicing teachers, head teachers, Education officers and community educators as well as for use by learners. These materials include;
       Let us Talk About AIDS Book 1 for std 1,2 and 3
       Let us Talk About AIDS Book2 for std 4 and 5
       Let us Talk About AIDS Book3 for std 6,7 and8
       Bloom or Doom – your Choice (secondary) 
       Facilitators Handbook for HIV and AIDS
       AIDS Education Syllabuses
       Audio Visual materials
  HIV and AIDS Education content is infused and integrated in the existing curriculum.
  • Sensitized Ministry of Education officials, Ministry of Health, Curriculum Developers, College Principals and personnel from related institutions and organizations to solicit their support and active participation in the project.
  • Conducted training workshops for the National Team on Information, Education and Communication techniques in HIV and AIDS Education, equipping them with skills for facilitating the Training of Trainers at district and provincial levels.
  • Dissemination of support materials (Good Health Magazines) prepared by UNICEF and Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to schools.
  • AIDS education materials have been distributed and are being used in schools, churches and other organizations.
  • In-serviced classroom teachers and education officers and equipped them with communication skills and methods of handling AIDS Education.
  • Introduction of HIV and AIDS Education into the existing curriculum.
  • Mainstreaming other pertinent emerging issues in the curriculum such as gender issues, child’s rights, child labour and drug and substance abuse.
  • Provision of guidance and counseling services in learning institutions. The

Government of Kenya recognizes guidance and counseling as an essential service that should be availed to children and the young people in learning institutions. In this regard, KIE has developed a Guidance and Counseling Teachers Handbook to equip teachers with knowledge and basic skills in guidance and counseling.

Subsequent to this a monitoring exercise on HIV and AIDS project was done by KIE. The results indicated that there existed a gap between knowledge and behaviour change among the learners. Life skills education was seen to be the stop gap measure.? During the revision of the curriculum in 2003, Life Skills were integrated and infused into various subjects. Subsequently Life Skills was incorporated into the teaching and learning materials.

To strengthen the teaching and learning of Life Skills Education, KIE has also undertaken a number of activities aimed at building capacity in primary and secondary school teachers to mainstream Life Skills Education. These activities include:

2.Development of Life Skills Education Materials

In the year 2002, with assistance from UNICEF, Kenya Country Office (KCO) KIE developed 40,000 sets of instructional materials on Life Skills Education. These materials include: Life Skills *Education for Lower and Upper primary

  • Life Skills Education for the youth
  • Life Skills Education – Facilitators Handbook

3.Orientation of teachers on Mainstreaming of Life Skills Education to the curriculum

KIE has so far orientated 1140 trainers of trainers (TOTs) who include; teachers, Education officers, TAC tutors, and District Centres for Early Childhood Education (DICECE) officers on how to mainstream Life Skills Education into the regular school curriculum. Those orientated were drawn from Kwale, Garissa, Nairobi, Meru North, Tana River, Koibatek, Nakuru, Kajiado and Laikipia districts:

4.Participatory story telling initiative

KIE and UNICEF found it necessary to introduce the art of traditional story telling in Early childhood development program. A total of 53 trainers of trainers (TOTs) and 400 teachers have been trained on adaptation, dramatization and story telling aimed at instilling the essential values based on life skills. Approximately 4000 school children 3-6 year old and 16,000 standard one classes children whose teachers were trained have benefited.

5. Study tour by Education officers to Zimbambwe and Malawi

A team of senior Ministry of Education officers from Kenya visited Zimbabwe and Malawi with a view to familiarize themselves with the implementation strategies of Life Skills Education in learning institution in the two countries. Following the study tour, a strong consensus seemed to emerge on the need to teach Life Skills Education as a stand - alone subject in schools and teacher training colleges. As the delegation returned to Kenya, the challenge to review the current implementation of Life Skills strategy, to allow for specific time in the curriculum became evident. The need to build the capacity of teachers to enable them facilitate the development of Life Skills beyond ‘content teaching’ also became apparent. A key recommendation arising from the tour was that Life Skills Education needs to be given the priority it deserves by being taught as a stand-alone subject.

6. National Life Skills Stakeholders Conference

In July 2006, a national Life Skills stakeholder’s forum was held in K.I.E. the aim of this conference was to:

  • appraise all stakeholders on the findings of the tour.
  • give stakeholders an opportunity to share their experiences on the various implementation strategies of Life Skills Education.

The forum provided stakeholders with an opportunity to deliberate on whether Life Skills Education should be taught as a stand - alone subject or should continue to be infused and integrated into the curriculum. A key recommendation from the national forum was that Life Skills Education should be taught as a stand alone subject in primary and secondary education levels. The delegates observed that this approach would be ideal in the sense that specific time would be allocated for it in the school time table and designated trained teachers would plan for it in their schemes of work.

7. Monitoring Exercise on the implementation of the Life Skills Education

Monitoring is a vital element in any intervention programme. It ensures effectiveness and sustainability of the programme

In 2006, KIE conducted a monitoring exercise on the implementation of Life Skills Education in Kwale district, the aim of this exercise was to establish whether the programme is being implemented as envisaged Some of the recommendations given by the respondants are that:

  • The ministry of Education should reassess the infusion and integration method in implementation of Life Skills Education.
  • KIE and MOE should explore on the possibility of offering Life Skills Education as a stand-alone subject
  • Life skills Education should be made examinable.

8.Orientation of Curriculum Developers, Quality Assurance and Standard (QAS),Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), Kenya Education Staff Institute (KESI) , Teachers Service Commission (TSC) officers

Curriculum Developers, Quality Assurance and Standard (QAS),KISE, KESI, TSC officers play a very significant role in the development, implementation, assessment and ensuring quality and standards of any educational programme. Consequently KIE organized and conducted an orientation workshop on life Skills Education for 120 curriculum developers, 30 officers from directorate of QAS, KISE, KESI, TSC officers. The aim of this exercise was to create awareness on how Life Skills Education is in cooperated into the school curriculum. The forum also gave the officers an opportunity to understand the concept of Life Skills Education so that at the point of establishing it as a stand alone subject, it will not be an alien concept.

Between National Goals of Education and Other Objectives

Linkage between National Goals and other Objectives of Education

An effective education system is guided by set goals and objectives. The success of such a system relies on the interrelationship between the National goals of education, secondary level objectives, general and specific objectives of a subject.

National goals of education are the general principles and statements which spell out the aspiration of a nation to be realised through education. They give directions to a set of detailed intentions for the present and the future. From the National goals of education, objectives for the different levels are drawn. The level objectives are used to determine the desired knowledge, skills and attitude that should be acquired at the end of the course.

The general objectives of Life Skills Education are derived from the Secondary level objectives. These objectives are relevant and therefore achievable within the subject. Specific objectives are derived from the general objectives. They give guidance on how knowledge, skills and attitudes pertaining to the content are to be achieved. The specific objectives are quite explicit, operational, time bound and quantifiable.

It is these specific objectives that guides the teacher on the depth and breadth of content coverage. It is therefore important that teachers familiarise themselves with the National goals, level objectives, the general objectives and the specific objectives for Life Skills Education in each topic since they are inter-related.

The flow chart (Figure 1) illustrates the relationship between National goals, secondary level objectives, general objectives of Life Skills Education and Specific objectives.

Figure 1 shows a chart which summarizes how specific objectives and content are derived from the national goals of Education.


Foster National patriotism and promote National Unity Promote harmonious co-existence among the peoples of Kenya Appreciate the need for peaceful co-existence and demonstrate ability to apply the acquired skills to relate and co-exist with other people amicably Form 1 Effective communication - Factors that enhance effective communication By the end of the lesson, the learner should be able to discuss factors that enhance effective communication
Promote the social, economic technological and industrial needs for national development Build a firm foundation for technological and industrial development Acquire values, attitudes and develop skills that will enable him/her to operate effectively in the society Form 2 Decision Making - Process of decision making By the end of the lesson, the learner should be able to demonstrate ability to apply various steps in the decision making process
Promote social equality and responsibility Develop into a responsible and socially well adjusted person Appreciate his/her rights and responsibilities and demonstrate ability to respect other peoples rights Form 3 Empathy - Ways of expressing empathy By the end of the lesson, the learner should be able to demonstrate different ways of expressing empathy in various situations.
Promote sound moral and religious values Develop mentally, socially morally, physically and spiritually Develop and apply Life Skills that enhance positive behaviour formation and change Form 4 Decision making - Developing creative and critical thinking skills By the end of the lesson, the learner should be able to demonstrate ability to use critical and creative ways in addressing life’s challenges
Promote individual development and self-fulfilment Identify individual talents and develop them Develop and apply life skills that enhance performance in education Form 4 Decision making - Career choices By the end of the lesson, the learner should be able to explore and appreciate important factors to consider in choosing careers
Promote respect and development of Kenya’s rich and varied culture Enhance understanding and respect for own and other people’s cultures and their place in contemporary Society Appreciate his/her rights and responsibilities and demonstrate ability to respect other people’s rights Form I Friendship formation and maintenance - Living Values that enhance inter-personal relationships By the end of the lesson, the learner should be able to show ability to apply relevant living values that enhance interpersonal relationships
Promote international consciousness and foster positive attitude towards other nations Enhance understanding and appreciation of inter-relationships among nations Appreciate the need for peaceful co-existence and demonstrate ability to apply the acquired skills to relate and co-exist with other people Form II Non-violent conflict resolution - Ways of avoiding conflicts By the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to explore ways of avoiding conflicts
Promote positive attitudes towards good health and environmental protection Promote positive environmental and health practices Demonstrate ability to apply the relevant Life Skills in dealing with the emerging issues and other challenges effectively Form III Negotiation skills- Situations that require negotiation By the end of the lesson, the learner should be able to apply negotiation skills in various situations

Introduction to life skills education


  • Handout on meanings of Life Skills and Life Skills Education
  • Flip chart on meaning of Life Skill and Life Skill Education
  • Facilitators Training Manual
  • Flip chart on benefits of Life Skill Education
  • Life Skills Education Handbook
  • LCD/ Lap top projector

Session Objectives

By the end of the session, the participants should be able to

  1. define the terms Life Skills and Life Skills Education
  2. state the categories of life skills


Definitions Life Skills are psychosocial competences which enable an individual develop adaptive and positive behaviour so as to deal effectively with challenges and demands of everyday life. The development of Life Skills is a life long process that starts in early childhood and continues throughout ones life.

Psycho – those skills that deal mainly with the mental functions and processes, such as the problem solving skills. Social – Those skills that deal with one’s interaction with self, others and the environment.

Life Skills Education is the study of abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and the challenges of everyday life.

Challenges facing the youth

  • Psychological e.g. preparing for examinations, peer pressure, etc.
  • Social e.g. peer pressure, inter-relationships, etc.
  • Economic e.g. lack of resources (such as finance, basic necessities), excessive resources.
  • Emotional e.g. anger management, hormonal influences, etc.
  • Spiritual e.g. exposure to conflicting religious beliefs.
  • Etc.


    • Self awareness
    • Self esteem
    • Coping with emotions
    • Coping with stress


    • Empathy
    • Effective communication
    • Conflict resolution and negotiation
    • Friendship formation
    • Assertiveness
    • Peer pressure resistance


    • Critical thinking
    • Creative thinking
    • Problem solving
    • Decision making



  • LCD projector and Laptop
  • Flip chart/white board/chalk board
  • Felt pens
  • Manila paper

Session Objectives

By the end of the session, the participants should be able to:

  • understand and appreciate the importance of Life Skill Education
  • state the assumptions of Life Skill Education


Where life skills education is well developed and practiced, it enhances the well being of a society and promote positive outlook and healthy behaviour. In particular, it enables the individual to:

  • translate knowledge, attitude, skills and values into action;
  • behave responsibly and this leads to healthy living;
  • develop positive attitude towards themselves and others;
  • develop full potential;
  • promote the state of mental well being as this motivates them and others;
  • promote risk free behaviour;
  • communicate effectively;
  • develop negotiation skills;
  • improve self perception by:
  • building self confidence
    • building self esteem
    • building self worth

Life Skills Education has long term benefits to the society. These include educational, social, health, cultural and economic benefits.

(a)Educational benefits

  • Strengthens teacher pupil relationship
  • Leads to desirable behaviour change
  • Improves discipline in schools
  • Reduces learner problems such as truancy, absenteeism drug and substance abuse and teenage pregnancies
  • Helps learners to improve their performance

(b)Social Benefits

  • Improves the socialization process among learners such as relating to others in a friendly way
  • Enables learners to choose good and reliable friends
  • Helps learners to use their leisure time properly
  • assists learners to recognize and avoid risky situations
  • Bring about meaningful interaction among learners, teachers and the school community
  • Helps in character building.

(c)Health Benefits

  • Leads to prevention and control of diseases such as STIs, HIV and AIDS
  • Contributes to a person’s general well being (physical, mental, emotional and social)
  • Leads to less strain on health facilities
  • Helps people to be responsible for their own and other people’s health

d)Cultural Benefits

  • Enables people to adopt and maintain meaningful cultural practices and avoid practices that may put self and others at risk
  • Promotes harmonious interaction between people of different cultures
  • Helps in the clarification of values in the society

e)Economic Benefits

  • It leads to high productivity due to a motivated, strong and energetic labour force
  • Savings are increased as money used eg on management and control of HIV and AIDS can be invested elsewhere. Resources such as time and money are saved as learners acquire skills to manage themselves and their environment.
    • rehabilitation of drug and substance abuses
    • repair of damaged property
    • buy teaching learning resources


  • The learners are able to make rational decisions if they are equipped with adequate information, skills and desirable attitudes
  • Life Skills Education is an effective intervention measure in responding to socio-cultural problems like: HIV and AIDS, drugs and substance abuse, school unrest among others.
  • Life Skills Education responds to critical needs of the youth
  • Life skills are well developed when based on the learners real life experiences
  • Development of life skills is a life long process that starts in early childhood and continues throughout one’s life.

Self Awareness and Self Esteem

Coping with emotions


By the end of the session, the participants should be able to: • Explain the meaning of the term “emotions” • Identify different types of emotions • Express and respond to different types of emotions • Identity strategies to effectively manage emotions

By the end of the session, the participants should be able to:

  • Explain the meaning of the term “emotions”
  • Identify different types of emotions
  • Express and respond to different types of emotions
  • Identity strategies to effectively manage emotions

Definitions of Emotions

Emotion: This is a subjective, impulsive response to a situation. It is devoid of logical

                  reasoning and can be unpredictable. Emotions can be evoked in an individual 
                  by good or bad news delightful or sorrowful situations. One’s mental thought
                 can also evoke emotions
     Emotions are strong feelings in response to situations, issues and needs.  
     These may cause mood swings in children and young people in their various 
     developmental stages. Such emotions include: love fear, anger, shyness, self-
     doubt, hate, joy, frustration, sadness, guilt, jealousy.
stage content process time facilitator
1 Objectives Facilitator reads through the objectives 5 mins
2 Meaning of the term emotions Facilitator request the participants to define the term “emotions” 15 mins
3 Identifying Emotions Introduce the idea of emotions with a quick exercise.

• The facilitator asks some participants to volunteer. The volunteers pick flash cards with emotions written on them • The volunteers move out of the room. They re-enter and act out the emotions written on the flash card. Examples of emotions to be acted • Disappointment • Sadness • Anger • Laughter • Fear • Anxiety • Excitement (The exercise can be lively. Have fun with it) The participants interpret/brainstorm on the emotions expressed. The volunteer flashes the emotion on the card. Facilitator writes the emotions on the flip chart||50 mins

==Coping with Emotions==: This implies that whether there is good or bad

                 news one should not loose control over oneself,  however one should not 
                 suppress the emotions.

Behaviour that shows coping with emotions

  • Letting rationality take control of the situation as far as possible
  • eeping calm in words and actions
  • Accepting reality
  • Thinking through the possible out comes of a situation and taking positive alternative lines of action in good time
  • Carrying on with essential duties even if there is an upsetting event
  • Seeking or accepting suitable advice or assistance
  • Recovering quickly from a sad event.

Managing Emotions

  • Identify the problematic emotion
  • Analyse underlying cause of emotion
  • Reflect on the effect on self and others
  • Weigh capacity to handle emotions
  • Seeking guidance/counselling
  • Delaying action
  • Self distraction
  • Walking away
  • Expressing emotion through writing,

NB: Fighting/physical confrontation, verbal confrontation is a negative way of managing emotions and should be discouraged.

Coping with stress

Stress is an individual’s response to overwhelming internal and external demands. When people are stressed they are unable to respond appropriately to challenging issues and situations. Examples of causes of stress among the young people include: academic pressure, rejection by peers changes taking place in their bodies (biological, physical and mental), poor communication in the family and death of loved ones among others.

Icon objectives.jpg

By the end of the session, the participants should be able to:

  • explain the meaning of the term stress and coping with stress
  • state types of stress
  • identify causes of stress
  • explain ways of coping with stress

Ways of coping with stress

  • Recognizing onset of stress
  • Identifying cause of stress
  • Improving self awareness skill
  • Engaging in physical exercises
  • Talking to a trusted friend
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Good time management
  • Engaging in positive leisure activities
  • Being assertive
  • Choosing and keeping good friends
  • Making rational decisions
  • Nurturing personal values

Types of Stress

  • Dystress – This is the negative stress which affect ones normal functioning and
                      requires to be managed
  • Eustress – This is the positive stress which one needs in his/her daily life for normal

A case study on causes of stress

Read the following case study carefully

Eva is a form three girl in a mixed day school. She is the second born in a family of five children. The mother a single parent, brews and sells changaa to earn a living for the family. Whenever Eva comes home in the evening from school she is expected to assist the mother in selling changaa until all the customers have left. More often than not, this goes on until midnight. By the time the last customer leaves, Eva is too tired to do her homework and study.

Eva hardly sleeps. She spends time pondering over the experience of having to come to a home which is overcrowded. Lately one of the regular male customers has been persuading her to become her sexual partner. Eva believes sex before marriage is wrong, besides, it is a behaviour which can expose her to HIV infection. Her mother had more than three times suggested to Eva to terminate her education, because she could not get enough money to take care of the family’s basic needs, leave alone paying her school fees. Eva is becoming anxious about this. She is aware that her first born brother dropped out of school in Form two, and no one knows his whereabouts. Fatigue every morning has become a common feeling to Eva. As she goes to school she is always worried about her unfinished assignments and the common habit of dozing in class which upsets her teachers. Eva is basically leading a miserable life and does not know what to do to make her life bearable and less stressful.

  1. From this case study identify different causes of stress in Eva’s life
  2. How have these problems affected Eva?
  3. If you were Eva how would you respond to this stressful situation?

Friendship formation and maintenance

Sections Objectives

By the end of this section, you should be able to:

  • identify types of friendships
  • differentiate between peer influence and peer pressure
  • identify strategies of resisting peer pressure


A friend is a person one is in a good relationship with and with whom one shares personal information and materials with. The teacher should involve the learners in acquiring knowledge values and skills on how to identify good friends, qualities of a good friend. He /she should also discuss things friends do together and the importance of having friends. He or she should emphasize to the learners the importance of establishing and maintaining friendships

Types of friendships at various levels

  • family
  • among the peers
  • in the community
  • teacher – learner
  • tutor – trainee
  • counselor – client
  • doctor – patient
  • employer – employee
  • trader – customer
  • spiritual leader – follower

Peer influence and peer pressure Peer influence is the strong pressure to an individual to adopt the attitude, values, behaviourand thoughts of his or her peer group. The pressure might be positive or negative.

Peer Pressure Resistance

Peer Pressure is the influence one has from friends and others of his/her own age to do things that he/she doesn’t approve of and really don’t want to do.

Positive and Negative Peer influence

Positive Peer Influence

  • contributes to achievement of personal goals
  • builds self confidence
  • leads to respect of values and belief in society
  • promotes of positive use of leisure time
  • discourages risky behaviour
  • promotes unity and co-operation
  • encourages mutual trust
  • enhances performance

Negative Peer Influence

  • leads to riots and school unrest
  • promotes harmful traditional practices
  • leads to pre-marital sex
  • drug and substance abuse
  • bullying
  • dropping out of school
  • involvement in cuts and occultism

Case study

Nalina is going back home from watching a match in a nearby stadium. She is in the company of her close friend Mercy, and two young men, Tula and Ndalu.
the way a discussion ensures where the friends suggest they engage in sex before they part company. Nalina is opposed to this suggestion. A heated debate emerges. Nalina calms her friends down and tells them that she does not see the point of their disagreement. She suggest that each one of them should be given a chance to air his/her views about what they want and how to go about it. Tula and Mercy explained that they love each other and would like to have sex. Nalina says she is not interested in sex, and has never imagined being involved in love affairs at her age.
Ndalu says as much as he is for the idea, he believes it will serve a short term purpose. He is worried that he might contact HIV which will have a long term negative effect on her health. Based on their opinion the group agree that it is risky to engage in sex, besides, having sexual feelings does not necessarily mean you must always engage in sex.

from the above case vstudy

  1. Identify pressure lines
  2. Identify various strategies employed by Nalina and Ndalu to resist peer pressure

Strategies of peer pressure resistance

  • application of negotiation skills
  • being assertive
  • relating with positive socializing agents
  • developing and upholding positive values system

Effective Communication

Session objectives

By the end of the session, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the meaning of effective communication
  • Identify situations that require effective communication
  • State forms of communication
  • Explain and demonstrate the process of effective communication
  • Discuss the
    1. factors that enhance effective communication
    2. barriers to effective communication
  • Explore the benefits of effective communication

CONTENT AND PROCESS Facilitators notes


This is the exchange of ideas, feelings, opinions, wants, needs and actions verbally or non-verbally. Effective communication is more than sending and receiving messages. It entails sending accurate information and receiving feed back that the message has been received without distortion. It can be enhanced by:  clarity of message  use of appropriate language  observing appropriate timing  active listening  asking questions  observing non-verbal actions or reactions  considering the type of audience. Effective communication helps individuals to clarify ideas, correct misconceptions, share experiences, reduce stress and provide feedback for improvement. one needs to internalise this skill in order to be able to overcome his/her inhibitions and maintain healthy social relationships.

The Situations that require effective communication include: • seeking or providing guidance • dealing with gender stereotypes • child abuse • domestic violence • harmful cultural and religious practices • interpersonal relationship • peer pressure e.g.drug abuse, pre-martial sex • risky situations, e.g. car jacking, rape among others

Forms of communication • verbal e.g. debates, barazas, etc • non-verbal eg. Print, gestures, signals, puppetry. miming

Process of communication

sender message channel receiver


Activity – Chinese whisper

Factors that enhance effective communication

• Active listening • Simplicity • Straight forwardness • Feedback • Speaking clearly/articulation • Knowledge of the receiver / audience • Speed and sequence of speech • Relationship between the sender and the receiver • Command of subject (mastery of subjects matter) • Commanding attention

Barriers to effective communication • Poor listening habits • Inadequate knowledge of the subject • Biases and stereotypes • Lack of interest on the subject • Personal opinions • Interruptions • Religious and cultural difference • Language barrier • Poor timing • Guilt • Status

Benefits of effective communication • Right information is shared • Minimizes conflicts • Resources such as time and money are saved • Helps in establishing rapport • Intended results are achieved • Sender is able to provide intended feedback • Enhances harmonious co-existence and conflicts are resolved amicably


Conflict resolution


  • Flip Chart
  • mark pen
  • LCD Projector and Laptop


By the end of the session the participants should be able to:

  • Explain the meaning of the terms
    • conflict
    • conflict resolution
    • conflict resolution
  • Identify various types of conflict
  • Explore situation that may lead to conflict
  • Identify barriers to non-violent conflict resolution
  • Analyse effects of unresolved conflicts
  • Explore ways of avoiding conflicts
  • Explain methods of conflict resolution


1 Objectives The facilitator reads through the objectives 5 mins
2 Meaning of conflict. Participants Brainstorm and facilitator harmonises the meaning of the

terms on a flip chart or projector ||5 mins||

3 Types of Conflicts Facilitator asks participants to name types of conflicts. Facilitator harmonies using the flip chart/projector 5 min
Situations that lead to conflict Participants brainstorm on the situation that lead to conflict

Facilitator harmonizes the findings ||10 min ||

4 Barriers to non-violent conflict resolution Facilitator leads the participants to state the

Barrier to non-violent conflict resolutions ||5 min||

5 Over coming barriers Using the flip chart/LCD projector, the facilitator takes the participants through the ways of overcoming barriers to non-violent conflict resolution 5 min
6 Effects of unresolved conflicts Participants to brainstorm on effects of unresolved conflicts.

The facilitator harmonises using a flip chart ||10 min||

7 Methods of non-violent conflict resolution Participants to brainstorm on the methods used in non-violent conflict resolution The facilitator to harmonise using flip chart or projector 10 min
8 Summary Facilitator summarizes the session 5 min

```Facilitators Notes```


Conflicts are serious disagreements among individuals or groups which may results in verbal or physical confrontation. They may also be internal when an individual has two opposing feelings or views about an issue or situation. This threatens peaceful co-existence or relationships among people. The existence of conflict between individuals or self may result to; rape, broken families, drugs and substance abuse, unwanted pregnancies, wars, ethnic clashes and riots in institutions among others. Conflict resolution is the ability to handle disagreements calmly and peacefully. Conflicts have serious and far reaching effects among young people. It is therefore necessary to understand the causes of conflicts and the consequences of using poor or inadequate conflict resolution skills. The teacher should inculcate among the learners the values and skills of resolving conflicts peacefully.

Types of conflicts

  • Intrapersonal
  • Interpersonal
  • Community
  • International/national

Situations that may lead to conflict

  • physical and emotional abuse
  • effects of drug and substance abuse
  • violation of human right
  • discrimination based on gender, race, education, tribe etc
  • inequality in distribution of resources
  • different political indication
  • negative ethnicity
  • strained resource
  • communication breakdown
  • social cultural prejudices/biases

Barriers to conflict resolution

  • prejudice
  • low self esteem
  • envy
  • pride
  • dishonesty
  • suspicion
  • ignorance
  • peer pressure
  • luck of communication
  • stereotyping

Effects of unresolved conflicts

  • strained relationships
  • physical confrontation
  • disruption of social order
  • physical injuries and psychological trauma
  • displacement of people
  • destruction of property
  • loss of life
  • social political instability
  • fear and insecurity
  • reduced involvement in economic activities

Methods of conflict resolution Conflict resolution refers to the process of bringing misunderstanding or hostilities to an end. The best way to resolve a conflict is to approach it in non-violent way: Some of the conflict resolution the methods are:

  • Adjudication:

Arbitration – This involves almost the same process as outlined under mediation However, the arbitrator makes the final discussion for both partieis he/she acts like a judge in finding out who is in the wrong for example when and pupils are quarreling a teacher or head teacher may settle their quarrel.

Negotiation: This is a process that involves people involved in a conflict meeting and talking to each other about the conflict. Through a process of give and take where they try and reach an agreement on the problem. Apart from resolving conflicts negotiation skills can be used to present spread of STI’s including HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancies abortions. Abstinence etc. Mediation: This is a process in which two or more people or parties in a conflicts involve a third person that is someone who is not part of the conflict to help them reach an acceptable agreement. The third person:

  • Brings the people/parties in a face to face discussion of the issues
  • Allows each party to tell should focus on how the conflict started and developed. The mediator may allow them to ask each other questions for the purposes of clarification
  • Discusses with then the facts and issues involved in the conflict and helps then to see what want wrong
  • Discuss the with the possible solution to the problem
  • Involves both parties to arrive at a final solution to the conflict and to reconcile.

Importance of resolving conflict peacefully

  • Promotes peace and unity in homes, schools, communities and the country
  • Promotes co-operation and development

Creates good relationships among people

  • Promotes human dignity
  • Prevents violence thereby protecting life and property


Negotiation Skills

Effective decision making

Session Objectives

By the end of the session the participants should be able to:

  • Explain the meaning of the term decision making.
  • Identify types of decisions
  • Differentiate between creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving
  • Explore situations that require decision making
  • Explain the steps of decision making process

Meaning of Decision

It is a choice that one makes between two or more possible options. One will need to make more and more decision as he/she goes through life. Some of these decision will affect him/her the rest of his/her lives. Decision making is the process of making a decision

Types of decision (i) impulsive (without thinking) (ii) rational involves reasoning

Critical thinking: This means an attempt to understand what really constitutes the problem. It also means analyzing the problem and what may have caused it to emerge. Creative thinking: Once the problem is understand and analysed as to its cause and its components, the next step is creative thinking. This involves looking for solutions. One may come up with various options.

Decision making: This involves weighing each option. It goes back to critical thinking around each option. In weighing the options it is necessary to look at each possibility in the light of the following: Decision making.png

The core living values

Session Objectives

By the end of the session, the participants should be able to

  • explain the meaning of living values
  • describe the core living values
  • explain and appreciate the benefits of living values


Values are the principles and beliefs that influence the behaviour and way of life of a group of people or community.

The things, ideas beliefs and principles that are of worth to a person shapes his or her values. A person’s values help to define who he/she is and help determine the choices he/she makes. Living values provide principles and tools for development of the whole person recognising that the individual is comprised of the physical, intellectual, social emotional and spiritual dimension. Life Skills Education is best enhanced by living values. Therefore it is important for the teacher to understand and apply Living values so as to enhance acquisition of life skills.

The Core Living Values • Cooperation • Freedom • Happiness • Honesty • Tolerance • Unity • Peace • Respect • Responsibility • Simplicity • Humility • Love

LOVE Where there is love, there is a world. Love looks on all with a vision of equality Love is all giving without any thought of a return A heart that has love is able to accommodate The whole universe and still has space for more. Selfless love is truly unlimited; It forgets and forgives the weakness And sees only beauty and specialities in everyone

HONESTY Speak with honesty and you will get a chance to learn. The one who is honest will speak about themselves first, not about others. Others won’t get impressed by your words. Or even by your face… But by your honesty and truth To speak that which you think and to do that Which you speak is honesty.

TOLERANCE Where there is tolerance, You are able to remain quiet and happy inside. One who has tolerance has the power to Accept and accommodate all situations. Only when you are contented internally can there be tolerance When you are contenedt, then just like a mother who has love for her child, There is no limit to tolerance.


Simplicity is identifying and being comfortable with those elaborate circumstances which shape our lives without worrying or making matters complicated. It requires facing any complexity with a plain and simple mind Simplicity starts with the self and overflows to everything else around us. A life lived in simplicity is a satisfying life Which inspires everyone yet possessed by one.


Peace is the original quality of the self. In its purest form, peace is inner silence. It consists of positive thoughts, pure feelings and good wishes To have peace you need patience When you are peaceful, you create an atmosphere of peace, Peace in the world can only be realized When there is peace in the minds of man.

HAPPINESS There is happiness when each moment is used in a worthwhile way. Happiness is such nourishment that it can transform a person, from weak to powerful, it makes difficult things easy heavy things light To remain happy and share happiness with others is the greatest act of charity No matter what happens, your happiness should not be lost.

COOPERATION It is based on faith, love, trust and understanding. It is not a bargaining game, in which one person’s success is achieved at the expense of another’s Real cooperation takes place when there are good wishes and pure feelings for each other. The highest cooperation is to partake of God’s task; And in return He will cooperate with you forever

HUMILITY Humility is dedication to the extent that no acknowledgement is sought for the self. Humility allows you to learn. There is great strength in humility It never holds on to anyone for support Everyone bows down to those who bow down first. Humility is not subservience but greatness. It is visible when there is love Have love for humility. It helps you to remain happy

RESPECT True respect is valuing one’s Own existence and the existence of others. It is not connected to a person’s role, Social position, nor his capacities or talents, It is the awareness that everyone has value; Everyone is unique When there is respect, there is understanding, Giving and taking on basis of love. Only when you give respect do you earn the respect of others.

RESPONSIBILITY The world’s a stage and we are all actors Each actor plays a unique part and He is responsible for his own actions. Responsibility means playing our part Accurately no matter what the task may be Each one of us has a huge part in creating a better world. Just respond to the abilities Within you and become responsible.

FREEDOM Freedom starts in the mind. Understanding the self is the key to freedom The more one understand the self, the easier it is to be liberated from waste. Freedom means to be uninfluenced, Unaffected and to be at peace with the self. True freedom is to experience the true essence of one’s being and that is peace.

UNITY Unity is harmony within and amongst individuals. It is built from a shared vision For the common good. Unity is appreciating the values of each Individual and their unique contributions. When there is the willingness Within the self to accommodate others, unity blossoms When I take the first step to mend fences, others will also change.

BENEFITS OF CORE LIVING VALUES • Values bring happiness in life • Values are the treasure of life, making humans wealthy and rich • A life filled with values is a life of self-respect and dignity • Values bring independence and freedom • They expand the capacity to be self-sufficient • They liberate one from external influences • They offer protection and those who get it are able to share with others • Values bring empowerment and remove weaknesses and defects • They open the heart and transform human nature so that life is filled with compassion and humility • Students also thrive in a value-based atmosphere in a positive, safe environment of mutual respect and care. Where students are regarded as capable of learning to make socially conscious choices


Life skills education syllabus exposition

Life skills education teaching methodology

Professional Document

Definition professional documents

These are the records which are used by the teacher in the preparation, implementation and evaluation of teaching/learning process. They include scheme of work, lesson plan, record of work and progress record. They are meant to make teaching and learning more effective.


It is a detailed breakdown of the syllabus in terms of lessons, weeks, terms and year for the purpose of orderly and systematic teaching. The scheme of work is derived from the Life Skills Education Syllabus. The scheme of work details how the Life Skills Education content for each class is to be covered on a weekly, termly and yearly basis.

A scheme of work has the following components:

  • Week: This is the week of term in which a particular topic content is to be taught
  • Lesson: Specific Lesson in the week in which a particular topic/sub-topic is to be taught.
  • Topic/sub-topic: These are specific areas identified for study in the Life Skills Education syllabus. A sub topic is a sub division of topic for ease of study.
  • Specific Objective: This refers to what the teacher intends to achieve by the end of the lesson. They must be SMART, that is

S - Specific M - Measurable A - Attainable/achievable R - Realistic T - Time bound

Objectives should point to the expected change of behaviour of the learner.

  • Teaching/Learning Experiences
The column clarifies the activities carried by the learner and the teacher for effective teaching and learning during and after the lesson. These experiences should be stated clearly using action verbs and be sequentially geared towards achieving the specific objectives.They guide the teacher to plan in advance the teaching/learning experiences, methods and the varied activities the class will be engaged in during the lesson.

  • Teaching/Learning Resources
These spells out the instructional materials the teacher intends to use to make the lesson effective.They include human and material resources. The teacher should creatively select, develop and assemble resources before the lesson such as; text books, newspaper cuttings, charts, audio and audio visual materials.

  • References
The teacher indicates text books, reference materials and documents which should be used to source content on specific topics. A variety of references should be used to enrich the content.

  • Remarks
These are comments that the teacher makes to show whether the set objectives have been achieved.


It is a detailed account of what is to be covered in a lesson. It is extracted from the scheme of work.

Importance of Lesson Planning

A lesson plan is necessary in the effective teaching of Life Skills Education because it helps the teacher to:

  • focus clearly on the content to be covered and the way it should be taught thus avoiding vagueness and irrelevance
  • organise the content to be taught in advance
  • plan, prepare and assemble teaching/learning resources
  • take the opportunity to visualize and conceptualise in advance the teaching strategies and methods.
  • select and design appropriate assessment methods.

Format of a lesson plan

A lesson plan should include the following components:

  1. Administrative details
  • Date
  • Time
  • Class
  • Roll
  • Subject
  1. Topic/Subtopic It is derived from scheme of work
  1. Specific Objective (s):
   	It is a statement of what is intended to be achieved by the end of the lesson.  It should be stated in simple clear language and should be measurable as in the syllabus.
  1. Learning/teaching Experiences:

This column contains the approaches/methods to be used in the lesson. These include discussion, observation, brainstorming among many. Learning/teaching experiences should aim at achieving the stated lesson objectives.

  1. Learning/teaching Resources
    These are the materials that will be used to enhance the learning/teaching process. 
They include: charts, videos and audio programmes, pictures and real objects.  Teachers should improvise resources relevant that are  and appropriate to the lesson.
  1. References:
    This column gives the sources of information. These include textbooks, 
     magazines, periodicals and  journals.
  1. Remarks:
       The teacher should state if the lesson was taught successfully. If there  

were any difficulties observed, mention them. Remedies sought should also be indicated.

An outline of the stages followed in lesson presentation


It provides for the organisation of a favourable learning atmosphere. For example, to recapitulate salient points of previous lessons relevant to the new subject matter or material. It also aims at capturing the attention of the learners. In order to maintain this attention, the teacher will need to stimulate the learners’ imagination, interest and enthusiasm.

A good Introduction involves:

  • remembering relevant facts that link the previous topics to the current one.
  • providing an overview of the topic to be covered.

Lesson Development

This is the actual teaching of the Life Skills Education content. The subject matter is divided into steps. Each step should contain one main idea or experience. It should indicate clearly what and how to be taught and the learners activities. The teacher should vary the teaching/ learning activities as the need arises.


This is a summary of the lesson. This can be done by either one or a combination of the following:

  • asking questions to establish whether the lesson objectives have been achieved.
  • allowing learners to seek clarification
  • summarising the main points in the lesson
  • giving follow up activity(ies) such as a reading assignment or project.

Note that a lesson plan may not have all the details of the subject content, therefore the teacher should have lesson notes.

Lesson Evaluation

This should be made immediately after the lesson when the teacher still has a fresh memory of what transpired in class. The teacher should evaluate:

  • achievement of the objectives
  • quality and depth of content
  • appropriateness of method
  • adequacy and appropriateness of the resources
  • relevance and effectiveness of tool of assessment
  • strategies for improved future instruction on the topic


It is a document where all details of the work covered/taught by the teacher is entered on a daily basis.

The entries are made by the individual teacher after every lesson. A record of work ensures:

  • accountability and transparency of work covered by the teacher
  • the continuity of teaching of a particular class
  • that a new teacher traces where to start teaching a class
  • the evaluation of schemes of work after a period of time for example four years
  • uniformity in content coverage in case of several streams.

A record of work should have the following components:

  • Time frame: It should indicate the day, date, week and lesson
     The week and the lesson can be specified for example week 9 Lesson 1
  • Work covered: it takes the form of sub-topics derived from specific objective (s)
  • Remarks section

This is a statement reflecting the success and failures of the lesson and recommendations/way forward

  • Name/Sign/Initials
     This is the identity of the teacher who taught the lesson
      It helps in accountability and transparency.


Sustainability of life skills education (Action plan)

Stage Content Process Time Facilitator
1 Objectives Facilitator reads through the objectives 5 Minutes
2 Action Plan Facilitator leads the group to discuss on the possible action plan to sustain Life Skill Education 30 Minutes