n Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies - Obstacles in the path of implementing technical/vocational education in Zimbabwean secondary schools : how can the situation be helped?

Volume 5, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2141-6990
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The study sought to establish the reasons for the decrease in number of schools offering Technical/Vocational Education in secondary schools in Zimbabwe as well as the perceptions of stakeholders on the country's need for the particular kind of education. It was also meant to come up with strategies for effective implementing and sustaining the programme. It was motivated by the rate at which the number of schools offering the subjects were going down yet the programme was one of the major recommendations by the 1999 Presidential Commission of Inquiry into Education and Training. It was also the major hope for the country to revive its ailing economy. Ten Secondary schools were identified in Harare province from which two cases were purposively sampled. Participants included two heads of the selected schools, four Tech/Voc teachers and twenty Tech/Voc pupils selected by stratified random sampling. A structured interview was used to collect data from school heads, questionnaires were administered to Tech/Voc teachers, and focus group discussions were held with the two groups of pupils (each group with ten from each school). It was revealed through this study that the barriers to the implementation of the Tech/Voc curriculum in secondary schools basically emanated from an unconducive teaching and learning environment. According to the findings, this environment resulted from failure to communicate the vision to, and lack of professional development among implementers, inadequacy of the necessary resources, poor evaluation of the programme and finally, failure to sustain the programme. It was concluded that the implementation of Tech/Voc Education in secondary schools was confronted by a lot of constrains yet it remains a worthwhile move. It was therefore recommended that the careful planning that was done before the programme was implemented, be coupled with the creation of a context that is conducive to the changes brought in by the new subjects. This can be done through effectively communicating the vision of the programme to the implementers as well as upgrading their knowledge and skills, and providing the necessary resources to meet the demands of the programmes. Considering how the programme will be implemented and sustained at initial stages was also recommended. The study impacts education policy formulation and by way of informing the planners on the importance of piloting a project before it can be fully implemented so that assessment and evaluation can be done and redesigning carried out at minimal cost.

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