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Title: Vocationalisation of secondary education in Zimbabwe : a theoretical and empirical investigation
Author: Nherera, Charles Muchemwa
ISNI:       0000 0001 3445 6872
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 1994
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This study investigates recent attempts to vocationalise secondary education in Zimbabwe in relation to the issues surrounding the provision of school-based vocational education in developing countries. Focusing on the Zimbabwe National Craft Certificate (ZNCC) and the National Foundation Certificate (NFC) pilot schemes, it examines the apparent conflict between policies advocating vocationalisation of secondary education and the views emerging from international literature questioning the efficacy of such policies. It is contended in the study that empirical evidence confirming the 'fallacy' of school-based vocational education only shows that it does not achieve its intended goals without explaining why this is the case. The current study examines the issues surrounding the provision of school-based vocational education from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. It is concluded from the theoretical discussion that the unsatisfactory labour market outcomes of schoolbased vocational education in post-colonial countries are a result of socio-economic and political factors which continue to reflect 'low-participation' practices in the inherited economic systems. Fieldwork findings seem to disprove the commonly held notions about vocational education. Although pupils' high educational and career aspirations were consistent with the arguments from literature, pupils still aspired to technical occupations related to their NFC courses. Teachers and Education Officers were positive about the NFC, even though they were sceptical about the opportunities existing in the formal employment sector. There were conflicting views regarding what pupils, teachers and Education Officers perceived as the goals of the NFC and how useful they thought it was in meeting the different objectives. The study concludes that contrary to the viewpoint of the 'vocational school fallacy', vocational education has a crucial role to play in empowering pupils and enabling them to join either the formal or informal productive sectors in attempts to transform and democratise the inherited 'low-participation' economic system in Zimbabwe.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Vocational Education