Vocational education in the 8-4-4 secondary school curriculum and its relevance to the job performance of the school leavers in the urban agro-based industries
Bichang'a, Orpha Kemunto
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The study was designed to find out the extent to which vocational education offered in the 8-4-4 secondary curriculum equip the school leavers with the basic knowledge and occupational skills that are relevant to the urban Agro based industries. The study also intended to examine some of the issues and problems perceived by the employees as hindrances to effective job performance. The study was carried out in Nairobi city, Kenya in 1993. The sample of the study comprised; (i) Ninety 8-4-4 Secondary school leavers employed in some selected agro-based urban industries. (ii) The immediate supervisors of the employees in the industries. Two types of research instruments were developed and used in collecting data. These were: Questionnaires and Interview schedules. The data analysis revealed that most secondary school leavers were employed in urban industries--as: -tailors, carpenters, packers, machine operators, Cloth printers, ingredient mixers, tea makers, clerks, sales promoters, store keepers and messengers. In these occupations both manual and mental skills were required, most of which were acquired on the job. This was a clear indication that the secondary school leavers had not acquired sufficient skills in school to enable them perform their duties effectively. Therefore substantive training on the job was mandatory. However, in most occupations there were some correlation between the preparation done in school through prevocational subjects and job requirements. It was revealed that various constraints were experienced in their occupations. These constraints had some reflections on the working environment and the curriculum. One of the major constraints which had a reflection on the curriculum was lack of sufficient relevant occupational skills. It was concluded that, secondary school leavers had not acquired sufficient relevant occupational skills required in the industrial labour market. On the other hand schools alone would not equip students with all the relevant occupational skills required in the industrial market.