Why relationship-building skills will 'better prepare young people for the future'

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"Equipping young people to feel comfortable with this reality should be a schooling system's first priority."
"Equipping young people to feel comfortable with this reality should be a schooling system's first priority."

Schools that embrace the development of relationship-building skills or, 'Relationship-centered' schools as they are called, will best prepare young people for future success, says Frank Rumboll, Executive Head at Curro Rivonia.

Relationship building skills are the combination of soft skills to help individuals connect with others and form positive relationships, at home, in school and in the workplace. These skills are imperative for learning to contribute to a team and for building an understanding between yourself and others.

More value is being placed on people who can operate in creative, flexible and empathetic ways, and Rumboll predicts an ability to develop, create and sustain healthy, empowering relationships will be the differentiating factor of the future. 

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'The groundwork for all future learning'

Called 'Foundational Learning', which starts at Grade R and concludes in Grade 4, these formative years set the groundwork for all future learning, experiences in life and the world of work.

A focus on empathy, leadership and communication is already of interest to employers – and will continue to be in the future.

Being taught relationship-building skills will also help young people learn the following skills:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Verbal and non-verbal communication skills
  • Listening skills
  • Emotional intelligence and empathy
  • Networking skills
  • Team-building skills.

"We believe that this holistic development affects their social, personal, intellectual, emotional and physical growth. Our children's future will also require character and values that are aligned with bravery, kindness, resilience and an openness to difference, newness and an ability to rethink convention. Equipping young people to feel comfortable with this reality should be a schooling system's first priority," says Rumboll.

"The world is rapidly changing and the need to learn never ends. This could mean learning a new skill or generally needing to learn on the job. If we do not teach our children how to learn from a very young age, we are underserving them for a changing world that is evolving so fast." 


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