Parents want life skills taught at school - study

  • 13/10/2017
School kids
Parents expressed concerns that the curriculum did not meet their children's current or future needs. Photo credit: Getty

A new study has shown that two-thirds of New Zealand parents want life and social skills to be included in a child's education.

Released on Friday, the study carried out by ASG Education Programmes and Australia's Monash University revealed that parents want teachers to do more when it comes to teaching their child about social and life skills inside the classroom.

"Historically, social and life skills are taught within the home and the development of skills and knowledge needed for a successful career have been taught in school," ASG chief executive John Velegrinis says.

"However, perceptions about what equals academic success is changing and so, for today's parents, social and life skills are becoming an increasingly important element in education."

However, although two-thirds of the 450 New Zealand parents interviewed said social skills should be taught at school, the numbers differed when ethnicity is factored in.

Ninety-one percent of Indian and Asian parents were keen on it, along with how to behave in public.

"The findings suggest there are increasingly blurred lines as to where responsibility begins and ends as parents' perceptions of their traditional roles and responsibilities change," said Mr Velegrinis.

Just 32 percent of all parents agree school is the best place to learn about sex and sexuality, but this rises to 58 percent among Indian and Asian parents.

Income played a part in the study, with 81 percent of parents earning more than $96,000 per year believing university study will help their child achieve their ambitions - this drops to 76 percent of parents who earn $60,000 to $96,000.

Parents expressed concerns that the curriculum did not meet their children's current or future needs, in areas such as social and life skills, and that teachers were being overwhelmed with classroom management issues.

Furthermore, they did not understand the purpose of homework in their child's learning, according to the study.