I am going to relate two scenarios to you.
Scenario 1- Child A is unable to use a given shopping list to go and buy items needed from a nearby supermarket.
Scenario 2- Child B is unable to perform the task instructed by his parent to make separately packed picnic lunches of sandwiches for himself and his four friends.
In both scenarios, the children were having difficulties with performing certain life skills.
Why do you think this was so?
Sometimes, children who seem to be not very different from other children of the same age, display difficulties such as those mentioned in the above two scenarios. More often than not, this can be traced to weak academic skills and their difficulty in applying these skills in everyday life situations. This underlines the importance of acquiring two key skills especially in elementary/primary education that have a lasting impact in academic achievements and gaining important life skills. These core skills are literacy and numeracy skills.
Core literacy and numeracy skills need to be imparted to all children in order to enable them to not only read, write and do mathematics better but also use them to resolve issues and solve problems in everyday situations. . Literacy skills enable us to communicate effectively and connect to the people around us while numeracy skills help us to analyze and reason about the nature of the world.
Achieving proficiency in literacy and numeracy not only lay the foundation for life skills such as critical thinking, logical reasoning, analyzing, experimenting, making sense of the world around us, being resilient and persistent but also in applying the knowledge and skills acquired to
become an effective contributor to society.
There are many building blocks that are necessary for a child to acquire good literacy and numeracy skills. Diverse learning styles that conventional teaching may not be catering to, neurodevelopmental delays, or an established special-needs condition(s) may interfere with acquiring these building blocks and may manifest as academic difficulties in the classroom.
Therefore it becomes imperative that these difficulties are recognized and appropriate measures are taken to help support these children acquire the necessary literacy and numeracy skills and ultimately prepare them for life.
- Geetha Gopi N
Registered Rehabilitation Practitioner, Psychologist & Consultant Special Educator (Learning Disability)