The career aspirations of grade 12 technical secondary school pupils in Zambia:a case study of David Kaunda and Hillcrest Schools
Mayumbwayila, Chilala Michael
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Although trades and crafts were being taught in some schools in Zambia before and after independence, technical education was formally introduced after Saunders made his report on the issue in 1967. It was at this time that technical schools and other facilities such as trades training institutions were established to meet the need for skilled human resources to facilitate Zambianisation in critical areas of technology and industry. Technical education became popular and almost every pupil wished to go to technical school and take up a technical career afterwards as an engineer, technician or technologist (Wood, 1974).However, this does not seem to be the case now because admission records at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU) indicate that since early 1990s, the proportion of pupils from technical schools being admitted to technical fields of study has steadily decreased, while that of those being admitted to non-technical fields has steadily increased. This defeats the purpose for which technical schools were established and leads Zambia into what is referred to as 'technological slavery' in the Statement of Policy and Intent document of 1969. In addition, there has been very little research done on the subject in Zambia such that most intervention efforts that have been made may not have been supported by research findings, but instead drew support from political statements.This study was undertaken to determine whether the grade 12 pupils in technical secondary school intended to apply for training in technical or nontechnical fields, and whether there were differences in career aspirations of male and female pupils. It further examined the factors that influence the pupils' career aspirations.The proportional random sampling method was used to select 104 male and female pupils who took part in the study from David Kaunda and Hillcrest Technical Secondary Schools. Data were collected by use of a questionnaire, the Rothwell Miller Interest Blank and interviews. The collected data was analysed by use of the SPSS package. Chi-Square analysis was used to test the two hypotheses and Factor Analysis was used to determine the factors that influence pupils' career aspirations. Percentages were also used to present analysed data.The findings of the study were that Grade 12 pupils intended to apply for training in non-technical fields. It was also observed that more male than female pupils intended to apply for training in technical fields, while more female than male pupils intended to apply for training in non-technical fields, as was hypothesised. The pupils' career aspirations were, to a larger extent, influenced by two factors - external rewards and social influence -than by other factors.
- Education