Schools need to have a greater focus on wellbeing programmes for their students as around half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age, but most cases are undetected and untreated, a wellbeing expert has told the GESS Dubai conference.
Mark Samways, director of wellbeing for schools and organisations at The Free Spirit Collective, told delegates at the World Trade Center:
“I think we need to have a greater focus on wellbeing and have an integrated system in place whereby it’s part of their everyday life and everyday culture.
“It’s an explicit curriculum where we teach about wellbeing and the science of wellbeing, and also implicitly across the school in our everyday interactions and how our community works.
“[We need to] make sure that we’re involving the students and having their voices heard, involving parents to make sure they’re educated in the science of wellbeing, and then they can continue that journey at home.”
The disruption caused to education by Covid has increased awareness of mental health issues in schools. Education systems are struggling to reconnect with learners and support the wellbeing of millions of young people.
Meanwhile, Rachael Pryce, founder of EducationYalla, spoke about the skills gap in the labour market which presents an opportunity to the education sector, to work together to spot missing skills and help young people to acquire them.
During her presentation, Pryce revealed that around 70 per cent of CEOs say that their current workforce does not have the skills needed to adapt. On the other hand, more than 40 per cent of employees said that they are likely to leave their current jobs as they are not learning enough.
Referring to the latest survey by Udemy, she said that there is increased awareness around the skills gap, which continues to grow over the years as technology changes and employers demand new skills.
The survey findings reveal that more than 70 per cent of employees worldwide believe that skills are changing so fast that our current skills are becoming obsolete. It also revealed that more than 65 per cent of people believe that a college education doesn’t equip them with skills that make them effective at work.
GESS Dubai continues on its final day with still a few more opportunities for school leaders and teachers to learn from leading local and international education experts.