The Demise of Technical Subjects: The Case of Selected High Schools in Harare, Zimbabwe

Chakamba John, Jumo Cryton, Edziwa Xavier, Misozi Chiweshe


This paper reports on some of the factors that draw back effective teaching of technical subjects
at high school level. The study was necessitated by the massive donation of textbooks in other
subject areas by UNICEF in its Zimbabwe Education Transition Fund. The fund was targeted
at reducing student to textbook ratio to 1:1 in all subjects. The researchers sought to establish
the resource status of secondary schools in the field of Technical Education. Focus was on the
availability, relevance, adequacy and state of material resources (books, tools and equipment)
and quality of human resources based on qualification and teaching experience. The study
included twenty randomly selected high schools in Harare, with Heads of Departments acting
as chief respondents. The study was delimited to two subject areas namely; Agriculture and
Building Studies. Data was collected using predominantly close-ended questionnaire, with
most items weighted on a 5-point Likert scale. Windows SPSS statistics 17.0 was used for data
analysis. The main findings, among others included; inadequately qualified teaching personnel,
inadequate textbooks, tools and equipment, obsolete tools and equipment and a rather weak
support of technical subject departments by school heads. The study calls for the responsible
ministry and corporate world to assist in the funding of technical subjects, as these are
considered the panacea to a country’s unemployment burden.

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