• Life skills for a better future

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    Quality education is not just about the academics like mathematics, science, history or literature. Life skills is also an important aspect of learning that will prepare young minds in making better decisions in the future.

    Recognizing the need to equip children with this, Coca-Cola FEMSA (Mexican Economic Development) partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) to implement Coordinates for Life, its newest corporate social responsibility campaign focusing on people and the community. The project was officially launched on May 27 at the Bizu restaurant in Rockwell Center, Makati City.

    A training module developed in Mexico with the help of Dr. Jose Ruben Riojas, director of Human Development and Organizational Change, Coordinates for Life will be implemented in public elementary schools by nongovernment organization Teach for the Philippines.

    On its pilot year, 10 public elementary schools in Quezon City with over 2,500 Grade 3 students will benefit from the program.

    By incorporating Coordinates for Life modules into the elementary curriculum, children will be empowered to face pivotal situations throughout their lives. The teachers will also be undergo training and workshops to be able to impart the modules to the students.

    “The third grade is a pivotal stage in a child’s life as they transition from childhood to early adolescence. Statistically, this grade level experiences a high dropout rate. This is why receiving Coordinates for Life will be particularly relevant for this age group,” said Monette Santos, director for training at Teach for the Philippines.

    In choosing schools where the program will be implemented, DepEd took into consideration the number of students, as well as the most interested teachers.

    The beneficiary schools include Apolinario Samson Elementary School, Bagong Pag-asa Elementary School, Krus na Ligas Elementary School, Sto. Cristo Elementary School, Holy Spirit Elementary School, General Roxas Elementary School and other public elementary schools in Kamuning, West Fairview, Pasong Tamo, and Commonwealth.

    What are life skills
    The program is designed around 16 life skills like assertiveness, empathy, understanding consequences, lawfulness, healthy lifestyle, bullying, peer pressure, stress management, among many others.

    These will be taught through “experiential learning” in order for children and young adults adult alike to develop and strengthen their decision-making skills. Besides this, the program also promotes better communication skills and self-awareness.

    Parents and educators are also given training support through lectures and workshops so they can better participate and actively guide children in their holistic development as they go through various stages in life.

    “Coordinates of Life is a program exclusively commissioned by FEMSA in 2011. Since its launch, the program has benefited close to 33,000 children and young adults, 3,820 educators, and around 22,500 participants have attended various lectures,” said Anik Vales, FEMSA’s social sustainability manager.

    The four programs
    Riojas then explained that there are four types of programs offered by the Coordinates of Life. First called “Deciding Your Future,” which focuses on children learning the life skills they need to further develop.

    “Preparing for Tomorrow” is the next program. Here, parents and educators who are offered tools to better develop their student or child’s life skills that they can incorporate in daily activities.

    The “Guiding Your Steps” has 10 lectures on different topics for children. This is best for those who want to further learn and discuss specific life skills.

    Finally, “Sharing Roads” guidebook offers 18 units or stations for teachers or parents where they can refer to in case they need further reading, talk points or guidance in discussing delicate issues with their children.

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