The Internal Quality Assurance Cell, KISS-DU in collaboration with the Indian Association of Life Skills Education organized a webinar on the topic: ‘SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and Life Skills’ on 5th August 2022.

In his Inaugural Address, the Chief Guest, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU in his address said that it is one of the 17 SDGs and has twelve targets under that. The first ten are “outcome targets”. Some of them are “sustainable economic growth; diversify, innovate and upgrade for economic productivity”, “promote policies to support job creation and growing enterprises”; “improve resource efficiency in consumption and production”and many more. While concluding Professor Behera briefed the attendees about KISS and KISS-DU including some of the recently adopted innovative practices.

The Chief Speaker, Dr.Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU spoke about how KISS and KISS-DU have institutionalized Life Skill Education (LSE) with the unconditional support of the UNFPA. He cited instances of how LSE activities have been integrated into the classroom curriculum. Dr.Routray also spoke about the importance of LSE for the adolescent age group and how it plays a seminal role in the context of KISS and KISS-DU. While referring to the core life skills, he elaborated on how LSE is a step towards empowering adolescents and shared some of the success stories from KISS and KISS-DU. Dr.Routray highlighted the role played by the institution in training the trainers both within and outside the organization, for which the Government of India has recognized KISS as a hub to transact LSE across all schools in Odisha. Further, he highlighted three important domains: understanding self; understanding health (both mental and physical), and vision for the future. He was elated to share how the organization has institutionalized both SDGs and LSE in the curriculum and established the link between SDG – 5 and Life Skills. “Peer educators are connecting points between adolescents and their peers”, concluded Dr.Routray.

Moderating the session, Ms. Sunitha Ranjan, the President of the Indian Association for Life Skills Education, introduced the panelists and set the context. She spoke about how IALSE has been collaborating with each SDG and while defining LSE she said that “it is a set of abilities which helps us to live our lives effectively”. The purpose of LSE is to bring change in self and change in others, Dr. Ranjan added. In closing, she said that LSE is all about building the capacity to live a better life and become good citizens.

Dr. Nixon Joseph, CEO, Children’s LoveCastles Trust India, said “it is a matter of honor to learn how SDGs have been institutionalized in the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences. It gives a lot of happiness and inspiration to be a part of such an event because I have interacted with many youths and not many are aware of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, I congratulate KISS for integrating and institutionalizing the SDGs in their curriculum. The combination of SDGs and LSE is rare.” In the present century communication skills and public speaking are the most important which will help in getting decent jobs, Dr. Joseph added. He also shared some of the challenges in the implementation of SDGs hence IALSE and KISS have organized a webinar on such a relevant topic. He concluded by underlining the importance of SDG – 8. Dr.Dhanya M.B, Associate Fellow, V.V. Giri National Labour Institute spoke on gender issues to employment and access to decent work. Women need social rights and protection even though they have elevated themselves to the roles of bread earners, still, their access to the labour market in general and decent work, in particular, is a far cry because of the prevalence of multiple discrimination like education, family issues, culture, society, etc. Employment is the entry point to empowerment, she said. In her deliberation, she also talked about the Inclusive Economy. Expressing her concern, she said that the employment challenges are more diverse for women and we need to address that as soon as possible.

Mr. T S Nair, Vice-President, Indian Association for Life Skills Education proposed a Vote of Thanks.