An assessment of the performance of production units in schools: the case of selected secondary schools in Lusaka district.

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Chisha, Priscillar
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The University of Zambia
This study looked at the assessment of the performance of Production Units in selected secondary schools in Lusaka District. The study was guided by four objectives and that were related to the research questions. These were: To establish how Production Units were managed in selected schools in Lusaka District; To assess the performance of Production Units in Schools; To determine the challenges that could have been affecting the performance of Production Units in schools; and to determine the necessary measures to enhance the management of the Production Units in Schools. Under theoretical framework, the study was influenced by two theories and which were: Human Capital Theory and Systems Theory by Schultz (1961) and Ludwing Von Bertalanffy (1973) respectively. Methodologically, the study adopted a qualitative research paradigm. This study was descriptive in nature. It focused on thematic presentations guided by the objectives of the study. In terms of the management of production units, it was clear that schools had established structures guide the management of production units. Decisions were also made democratically on how the units should run in each school sampled in the study. On the question of performance of the production units, the findings of the study indicated that these units were performing well despite some challenges. The participants sampled mentioned that harvests have been made in gardens, maize fields, under fish farming, goat project and piggery as well as that some good sales have been realized from these produce. The study revealed that the concept of production units is still new and there was room for schools to even do better than what was prevailing on the ground. But actual figures like expenditure, income, and profits were not available. However, any monies made were deposited in the school accounts for accountability purposes. Also, some challenges were identified. These included: shortage of land, poor planning in terms of timing of activities to do with production units, lack of proper training, lack of transport and market, and inadequate financial resources for expanding production units’ activities. Thus, on necessary measures to enhance the performance of productions, there was an urgent need to address these challenges. Arising from these findings, the following recommendations were made: workers production units should be trained. Schools to develop marketing strategies through working with supermarkets, hotels and lodges. Also, land to be secured through the help of Ministry of General Education and Ministry of Lands.. Partnerships with relevant stakeholders like supermarkets, Banks, and NGOs focusing on agriculture, and private companies were key addressing challenges faced.
Production units in schools.