Today I put the finishing touches on the nearly 300-page Life Skills Toolkit that I have been working on for the past few months. It is still in draft form but I would say that it is now at the "final rough draft" stage. And I am pretty happy with that!
A lot goes into a document of this magnitude - one intended for publication and dissemination on a national level - so getting to this point has been no small feat. It has required significant research, focus groups, discussions, and analysis. All before organizing lesson plans and more into one cohesive document. I am proud to say that my compilation skills seem to be top notch and the information contained in those pages should be highly beneficial for life skills facilitators. Or at least I hope so.
To ensure the material is at the standard it needs to be, we are in the process of assembling a technical team to review and provide feedback on the document. We are calling on the heads of Botswana's Ministries, leaders in the education field, teachers, and even a few acclaimed students. I will sit with them throughout this process, gathering information, and having a dialogue about content. Afterwards, it's back to the keyboard and long hours to get it finished by mid-November, just in time to go to print before the nearly month-long festive holiday. Phew.
The more I work on this project, the more I understand the great need for it. With each teacher and volunteer and student that I talk to, I become more dedicated to its cause and excited to be a key player in making it happen. Because, while Botswana does have a great framework for life skills education and a basic curriculum, nothing exists with information for implementation. This toolkit should act as a way forward in using the preexisting material. Botswana needs something like this and the children and youth deserve it. Life skills education, here we come!