A comparative study of vocational/technical education in Zambia and Zimbabwe 1900 - 1987.
This thesis undertakes the collection, analysis and evaluation of
information concerning the development of vocational and technical
education in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Tracing the history of vocational
education from 1900, the work emphasises the separate racial provision
of education, including vocational, until both countries approached
their respective Independence periods.
Six years after Independence, vocational and technical education in
Zambia occupied a focal point in the country's attempt to firstly
achieve an economic transformation and secondly, absorb the growing
number of unemployed school leavers from the system of general
education. After abolishing the system of apprenticeship, government
vocational institutions became the major point of training for formal
sector employment skills. Yet this inner reform has been diluted
largely by an economy unable to sustain the high recurrent costs
reqUired by institutional training.
The most striking feature of vocational and technical education in
Zimbabwe is how little the structure has changed from the preindependence
period. Whilst the racial balance of trainees has moved
in favour of Africans, early political rhetoric in favour of changing
the approach to skill training has failed to materialise.
Conservat i ve forces in both countries have managed with assistance
from external aid programmes to retain a formal system of vocational
and technical education very similar to that which existed before
independence. Educat ional provision for those who have dropped out of
school or are unemployed is grossly deficient.
In conclusion, the thesis proposes three act ion ar ea s: emphasising a
closer partnership of public and private sector training institutions
which will tackle the issue of making better use of existing
institutional capacity and expanding more directed opportunities for
skill training. linking national development goals with wellresearched
and developed national vocational curricula rather than the
perceptions or overseas examination syst ems: ensuring better
coordination between the education/training system and the ongoing
requirements of the employment system and making training more
sensitive to sectorial needs, particularly towards the majority of
people who live and work in rural areas.