Examining the purpose of technical education in Zimbabwe's high schools

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At the secondary school level, technical education programs serve numerous purposes ranging from narrow skill training to enhancing general education. However, implementation strategies may make the intended purpose of the educational program unclear. This study examined the purpose of technical education in Zimbabwe's high schools, as outlined in the official curriculum documents and perceived by the program implementers. Data were collected in Zimbabwe from policy documents and program implementers (technical teachers, teacher educators, and program managers) using a questionnaire. Lack of clarity and differences between the purpose as viewed by implementers and that in official documents were found. The study recommends that the Ministry of Education: a) take a position on the desired purpose of the technical education program, b) check and institute appropriate measures to correct mixed messages in the policy documents regarding the purpose of technical education, and c) direct adequate resources toward the desired purpose. © 2005 Shannon Research Press.

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International Education Journal

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