A Manchester sixth former is urging schools to better prepare their students to step out into the world.
Samuel Remi-Akinwale, 16, says the traditional focus on academic subjects is leaving young people ill-equipped for adulthood.
So he has made a short film with Fixers to encourage education bosses to create a ‘curriculum for life’ to help their pupils to become positive members of society.
‘We want an education that works for all and one that prepares us for life because that’s what an education is supposed to do,’ says Samuel, who lives in Harpurhey, Manchester.
‘I’m 16 and I don’t know how to pay my taxes or even open a bank account. This lack of knowledge might affect young people and the career paths that are open to them.’
Samuel believes schools should also be teaching their students about issues including mental and physical health, politics, racism, drugs, child sexual exploitation, first aid, self-esteem building, healthy relationships and identity exploration.
‘We need to equip the youth with the knowledge to make our tomorrow better’, he adds. ‘Education is the key to positive change. We need a curriculum to shape our future and prepare us for the rest of our lives.’
While PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) is designed to help pupils to develop fully as individuals, it is a non-statutory subject and Samuel says it wasn’t taught at his school after Year 7.
‘The government should make preparing young people for life a statutory requirement within the national curriculum,’ he says.
‘The government should support its delivery in primary school, secondary and post-16 settings.
‘High quality PSHE prepares young people to participate in democracy, empowers them to be active citizens, and prepares them to effectively participate in other areas of society and life.’
Samuel – who appears in various locations across Manchester in his Fixers film - is now studying A Levels in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Theology at a sixth form college in Moss Side.
‘I have had to educate myself about so many things and I hope that my Fixers video will make a difference,’ he says.
‘As a young person I think it’s vital to understand history from a diverse perspective and acknowledge the social issues within society.
‘From discrimination to injustice, we need to know the facts without sugar coating. Educate us while we’re young, otherwise young people might inherit a mindset that isn’t acceptable within our society.’
Samuel's film was launched at Manchester College.
One student who attended the event said: 'I feel that I didn't have the skills that Samuel is talking about in his film. I really commend him and hope he goes far with his campaign.'
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.