This Australian school teaches girls vital life skills — and not the typical home economics either. The students learned how to check tire pressure, monitor coolant and oil levels, and how to respond in the case of a car accident.
Stella Maris College in Manly hired Galmatic to teach the students in Year 11 these valuable skills. Galmatic is an all-female team consisting of four women who “specialize in helping Australian women and teenagers feels comfortable behind the wheel through our hands-on car maintenance workshops and online courses.” 
School Teaches Girls About Cars
In the past, life skill classes for girls meant cooking, sewing, and homemaking tasks. However, times have changed. Nowadays, boys should be taught to prepare food and maintain an orderly home. After all, they also need to eat and keep a clean appearance and space. Just as basic cooking and cleaning skills shouldn’t be gender-specific, neither should car repair and maintenance.
For instance, let’s say a woman’s car breaks down and she doesn’t know how to fix or even prevent such a situation. It’s extremely dangerous for her to stand on the side of the road, stuck and at the mercy of strangers. Learning these valuable car skills could prevent such situations.
That is where Galmatic comes in.
Elani Mitakos led Galmatic for the past 13 years and she emphasizes that these workshops are for everyone, not just schoolgirls. “Our fun workshops are interactive and hands-on,” displays their website. “With 13 years’ experience teaching over 100,000 teenage high school students a year, we have developed a jam-packed workshop that is perfect for their ‘Life Skills’ program outcomes.”
“We teach up to 100,000 teenagers a year in schools, across all parts of Sydney,” said Eleni. “The primary aim is for teenagers to feel comfortable behind the wheel. Ultimately, they are driving very big vehicles which can be very expensive if not looked after properly. We can’t stress enough to all our students you should never ignore a problem with your car, you need to address it for your own safety.” 
Empowering Girls on the Road
The assistant principal at Stella Maris College, Amy Smith, states that all the students who joined the workshop found it very valuable. The lesson was two hours long including hands-on basic car maintenance skills. No previous knowledge is required to attend.
“We had three groups of roughly 40 girls in what we call an incursion, an event on school grounds,” said Smith. “The feedback was very positive, the ladies from Galmatic were very patient and thorough in what they were explaining. All the teaching staff and our principal Elizabeth Carnegie felt a workshop like this would be beneficial for many reasons, mainly skills the girls need to learn before they leave school.
“It was also important to show the girls that they have the capabilities to handle situations themselves once they are on the road, rather than rely on someone else.”
Stella Maris College posted photos about incursion on their Facebook page and the response was overwhelming positivity. 
“This is the type of education our kids need in every school… well done!!” wrote one user.
“This is fantastic!” wrote another. “Wish I could have joined in & learnt this skill! Well done Stella for teaching our girls how to be strong & independent.”
“As a mum of one of those Year 11 girls today and ex Stella student myself, a really worthwhile session. Table topic tonight at dinner! Here’s to safe knowledgeable drivers.”
School Teaches Boys Domestic Skills
On the other side of the table, boys in Spain are learning traditional home economics skills. Just like girls are more than capable of driving, owning, and maintaining a car, boys can cook, clean, and sew. In this day and age, there are no ‘manly’ or ‘womanly’ chores. Everyone needs to know how to take proper care of themselves, their home, and their vehicle.
Colegio Montecastelo, a school in Vigo, Spain, hosts a program that teaches boys essential life skills that include domestic tasks. This includes ironing, cooking, sewing, and even flower arranging.
Gabriel Bravo coordinated the program. “It seemed very useful for our students to learn to perform these tasks so that, when they form a family, they are involved from the beginning and know that a house is a matter of two, it’s not a matter of the woman cleaning, doing the dishes, and ironing. This will allow them to become aware and learn to handle themselves at home.” 
- “Pioneering Sydney school teaches teen girls important life skills.” MSN. Andrew Prentice. October 26, 2020
- “School praised for teaching teenage girls how to change tires and check oil coolant levels.” VT. Michelle Hambiliki. October 26, 2020.
- “Girls learn to change tires and see oil level.” Times 24 News. October 26, 2020.
- “Here’s Why This School in Spain is Teaching its Male Students How to Perform Household Chores.” Tip Hero.