Factors affecting the utilisation of industrial arts departments in secondary schools : a study of selected secondary schools in Lusaka province, Zambia

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Mulenga, Athanasius Mulinda
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This study was conducted in response to the pertinent need to know how industrial arts departments were being utilised in Zambian secondary schools. This study was concerned with production unit and preventive maintenance activities. This was to establish whether or not the policy pronouncement on the cost sharing measure taken by government by the mid 1980, was being fulfilled. The quest for cost sharing came as a result of the bad economic climate that had crippled Zambia. The study looked at the factors that could contribute to the utilisation of industrial arts departments in secondary schools, the views held by head teachers, industrial arts teachers and non-industrial arts teachers about the utilisation of the departments and to establish whether or not the location of a school had any influence on the utilisation of the departments. The study employed a survey research design. The study sample consisted of 74 subjects drawn from nine Lusaka province secondary schools which offered industrial arts education. Research instruments which comprised interviews, self administering questionnaires and observation schedules were used. Data analysis was done by frequencies and percentages, cross tabulation and regression analysis (where possible) using SPSS computer software programme. The results of the study revealed that the following factors contributed to the effective or ineffective utilisation of the departments: lack of support by school administration, non operational workshop rooms and insufficient equipment, ineffective departmental management, poor teachers' motivation and attitude towards work, inadequate staffing levels, inadequate provision of materials, and inappropriate training. The views held by head teachers on utilisation of the industrial arts departments were that industrial arts departments were not being used effectively because the production unit was not being conducted. The views of the teachers were that the departments were being utilised well because preventive maintenance was successful despite their observation that the production unit was not being conducted. The location of the school did not matter in the utilisation of the departments in variables such as production unit,preventive maintenance, theft, and marketing. The location only affected variables such as procurement of materials and tools, where both urban and peri-urban schools revealed that they had problems in procurement ranging from high cost of materials and transport to non availability of materials and tools. The study concluded that schools were not fulfilling fully the government policy on self reliance and cost sharing measures put in place. The study recommended the following: - 1. School administrations should support the cause of fund raising by motivating teachers and providing initial capital. 2. The head teachers and heads of department running industrial arts departments should undergo training because they lack the knowledge to supervise the departments. 3. The teacher training curriculum for industrial arts teachers should include industrial arts departmental management and entrepreneurship education. 4. The attitude of all stakeholders in schools should change positively towards work. If this could not change, even if materials and tools were available, nothing could be achieved. 5. There should be unity among all stakeholders and teachers should be honest with themselves as well as to the system they serve. 6. Government should provide enough tools and funds to purchase materials and repair broken down machine tools. 7. There is need to replicate this study and extend it to other provinces in order to find out whether the results obtained in this study could be generalised.
Industrial arts -- Study and teaching (Secondary ) , Production maintaince -- Secondary schools -- Zambia