1. Personal Finance (Budgeting, Saving, Debt, etc..)
How many people do you know (including yourself) that are in debt because of loans, credit cards, etc.?
Recent studies have shown that money management is one of the most prominent reasons for stress.
We don't how to save money, how much to spend, and what percentage should we save from our income.
Because most people lack this basic knowledge, many end up trapped in the debt rabbit hole. Personal finance is definitely one of the most important topics that students must learn before they go to college. It is so basic and simple, yet the effects are so drastic on people's lives.
2. Nutrition, Health, and WellBeing
There is a lot of biology and science being taught at schools but very little is applicable to daily life.
There is nothing more important than one's own health and well-being. Things like how fat is stored in the body, the effects of too much sugar, how to read full labels on food products, the dangers of vegetable oils, what causes cancer, healthy cooking, etc.
How important is this information to each one of us and to public health?
Life would change forever if everyone started to adopt healthy living from an early age.
3. Scams, privacy, and security
The online and offline scam and fraud industry is a whopping 100 Trillion Dollars business. That is more money than some entire nations' GDP and it is only possible due to people's ignorance of the methods that scammers use to fool people.
Even basic simple concepts like "Get rich quick doesn't work" and "Nothing is really for free" are overlooked by many.
It is unimaginable with all the knowledge that we have and accessibility to information that there are still millions of people falling for these scams.
4. Basic law
It does help a lot in life for one to know their basic rights and responsibilities, how the legal system works, and where to obtain legal information without consulting a lawyer.
Having basic legal knowledge can have a big effect on a person's decisions at any stage in their life.
This topic is completely overlooked in the school curriculum and deserves more attention early in life.
5. Interpersonal and People skills (negotiation, communication, presentation, management, etc.)
The one thing that I discovered upon entering the corporate world is how less important is knowledge and technical skills compared to interpersonal skills.
Anyone can attain knowledge or develop skills but it takes a considerable amount of time, effort, and training to be able to function effectively among a group of people.
Things like communicating effectively with others, the ability to negotiate and persuade, the importance of presentation, and managing resources are relevant to any age group and can be used in all life situations.
The earlier we improve our people and interpersonal skills the better we become at them later in life.
6. Productivity (automation, delegation, Time Management, Pareto Principle)
It is amazing how inefficient most people operate in their work and daily life and it is all because they haven't been introduced to the basic productivity principles.
I am talking here about things like time management, prioritization, the Pareto principle (the 20-80 rule), the importance of automation, the importance of good design, effective memorization and learning, etc.
These skills are important to students as they are to adults and will always be useful no matter what age.
7. Research and information finding
Just because you know how to go to Google, type a phrase in the search box, and hit SEARCH means that you are good at researching and finding information.
Research is more than finding info, it is about sieving the correct from the false, looking for references, and comparing and contrasting different facts.
When you teach a student to effectively find information, you have armed them with a tool that enables them to properly, efficiently, and effectively research and learn any topic that they want at any moment in their life. It is an invaluable and powerful skill that can transform anyone.
When we say entrepreneurs most people tend to think of starting a business. That is not what I mean here.
Entrepreneurship means staying alert and keeping your eyes open for opportunities to solve problems and improve the world in any imaginable way.
We are not stressing enough the role the students should be playing in life as active citizens.
Most students graduate from high school in pursuit of a career that serves someone else's vision, and that is OK, but it is important that students know that they can truly change the world and must be active in pursuing opportunities to do that whether they are self-employed or working for an organization.
9. Sustainable living
While curriculums do have a small section dedicated to the environment, it is still lacking a lot when it comes to what exactly we need to do to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.
We need to take care of the environment now more than ever and it needs to start at the earliest age possible.
10. First Aid
Around 50,000 people die every year in food choking and other minor household accidents.
More than 90% of these cases could be saved, but die instead because it took too long for the person to reach the hospital or the ambulance to arrive.
Having basic first aid knowledge is a literally life-saving skill that deserves a spot in the school curriculum.