Pupils' Participation in Education with Production Activities and their Occupational Aspirations in Selected Secondary Schools on the Copperbelt

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Mulenga, Felix
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In most former colonial dependencies of the Third world, particularly Africa after the decolonization era of the late 1950s and early 1960s, there has been relentless massive pressure, support and effort to change the inherited colonial education systems. Need for change has been precipitated by such philosophical orientations that if education is a viable tool for socio-economic developments, it must depict its relevance or worthness to the society it is intended to serve. In Zambia like in any other former British colony,a typical British education system was carried over even after attaining political independence. The continuity of such a Western education system was socially and economically irrelevant and contradictory to the developmental circumstances and needs of the Zambian nationals. The inherited Western education system was alien in origin, its curriculum imbued Zambian children with skills and modes of behaviour appropriate for a Western society that advocate whitecollarism and distaste from manual work. It was also elitist, too theoretical and examination oriented. The First National Education Conference in 1969 and the Education Reforms in 1977 were carried out to redress the Western education system Zambia had colonially inherited. These two education policy document recommended the introduction of education with production in all Zambian learning institutions. The concept of education with production had the following objectives in the school curriculum: (i) Theory to be combined with practice, (ii) Early school leavers to be armed with lifeskills for self-employment in the world of work. (iii) Pupils in schools to develop positive attitudes towards work. In the light of this brief policy framework for education with production in Zambia, the thesis was heavily anchored on the assumption that pupils'attitudes for self-employment in manual jobs become favourable and they acquire useful life-skills for self-employment by their participation in education with production activities. It is therefore assumed that there should be a significant relationship between pupils' participation in education with production activities and their occupational aspirations. Such an investigation of the relationship is correlational. Research findings in selected secondary schools on the Copperbelt generally showed no significant relationship between the grade 9 pupils' participation in education with production activities and their future occupational aspirations. Reasons advanced by . the sampled grade 9 pupils were that: (i) They preferred white-collar jobs to selfemployment based on education with production activities. (ii) Self-employment based on the skills obtained from education with production was seen as fit for the uneducated. (iii) The skills they acquired from education with production were too elementary to enable them aspire for self-employment. (iv) Their parents as well as themselves preferred participating in education with production activities like metalwork and woodwork that could enable them enter technical jobs in the mines.
Occupational Activities--Zambia , Education--Occupational Activities --Zambia