Critical skills students must possess for success

Educators emphasise the need to equip learners with soft skills such as time management and organisational skills. File.

Joseline Uwimana is one of the students who have utilised their time away from school to learn new skills.  She has developed love for reading as a new skill and although this wasn’t her cup of tea, it all changed ever since she challenged herself to make an effort in developing this as a hobby. 

She has since tasked herself to read something a day-this can be either a textbook, newspaper, or magazine. 


Uwimana says she is now convinced she did the right thing seeing that she is now reaping the benefits, observing that when she reads, she tends to understand any concept better and in a much deeper way.


She also explains that through reading, she has been able to discover who she is, her concentration and motivation have increased and yet the more she reads, the more she expands her knowledge. 


Through reading, her vocabulary, language command, and communication skills have improved. She is also more creative and her stress level has reduced, she says.

Research shows that reading for even six minutes can reduce stress levels by as high as 68 per cent.

The student hence encourages her colleagues to pick up any skill and learn it to perfection.

Why is this important?

Uwimana notes that certain skills such as effective communication among others, are important for the growth of any student.

Through communication, learners grasp the use of simple words, gestures, and expressions. Understanding any form of information requires understanding the emotion and intention behind it and this is all done through proper communication, she notes.

Writing is another skill that scientists advise students to learn in order to have the ability to compose thoughts fluently and persuasively. Writing is believed to be the only means by which students express their inner state of mind, including their intellectual abilities and thoughts.

Scientists also call upon students to be well equipped with the skill of independent resourcefulness where they find and use resources around them to assist in their learning, as finding things out on their own boosts their learning and makes it harder to forget what they have learnt.

Isa Kiyingi, a language teacher at CCI-Essi-Nyamirambo explains that learners ought to have the skill of thinking critically and problem solving as these would help them understand themselves better, their motivation and goals.

Kiyingi says that great critical thinkers also know how to break down texts and improve their ability to comprehend, analyse ideas and adjust them accordingly.

“Critical thinkers are able to make great choices, avoid any kind of negative or limiting beliefs and focus more on their potentials. For instance, having the aptitude to share their thoughts can increase their quality of life,” he states.

He carries on that critical thinkers are patient and devoted to solving the problem as they analyse, reason and evaluate. Students with critical thinking skills become more independent.

Kiyingi adds that Leadership rotates around three core components of responsibility, accountability and dependability. Learners hence should be endowed with leadership skills as it can facilitate personal growth. 

Great leaders make great networking opportunities. With this, he notes that leadership trains learners to have communication skills—they learn how to say what they need, when they need to say it and in a way that steers results.

Educators emphasise that there is a need for learning soft skills, for example, time management skills, organisational skills and the ability to command oneself with confidence among others.

Instructors are also required to instil the skill of empathy and perspective where learners can have the ability to take on more responsibility, understand their feelings and also be problem solvers. 

However, equipping learners with adaptability skills, ability to take initiative and entrepreneurialism is as equally important for their future.

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