GOVERNMENT has started engaging various companies and organisations so that they can accommodate students waiting for Ordinary Level results for industrial attachment.
The exercise is enshrined in the new education curriculum rolled out, full scale, at the beginning of the year
The compulsory industrial attachment programme, will see students waiting for final O’ Level results embarking on a maximum five month work-related learning practice in public and private institutions.
Under the programme Government will facilitate students to be ‘attached’ at various institutions depending on academic disciplines.
The programme will also see some students acquiring driver’s licenses during the period.
Secretary for Primary and Secondary Education, Dr Slyvia Utete Masango told The Sunday Mail last week that Government had begun making arrangements with organizations in Agriculture, humanitarian organisations and the private sector.
“I have already written to my counterpart in the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development and he has approved,” she said.
“We have now approached the Vehicle Inspection Department and they have also approved. We are now coming up with a schedule on how schools will be incorporated.
“Schools already have the new curriculum and we will work with those schools that would have approached us.
“We have been communicating with several companies, including humanitarian organizations to cater for students in various disciplines.
“For instance, those who would want to focus on Agriculture, we have been communicating with the Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (Arda).
“For those focusing on pure arts for instance visual arts we have engaged the National Arts Gallery and so forth.
“This programme seeks to help students choose the path ways that they want to take in terms of academic or vocational training.
“Such that, even when they drop out of school at any level, they will have skills that can sustain them in life.”
The new curriculum seeks to incorporate the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Education and Training of 1999.
The commission led by educationist, Dr Caiphas Nziramasanga emphasized the establishment of links between schools and companies so as to expose learners to working environment.
In an interview Dr Nziramasanga said: “This programme is of utmost importance because it gives students skills that they would have otherwise not learnt in classrooms.
“The learners get a better appreciation and understanding what they are learning in classrooms, thus helping them choose a career path.
“However there is need for careful selection of the skills by the student as well as skilled and trained tutors for the programme.
“There is also a need for consultations with various stakeholders.
“Life skills orientation is not only in Zimbabwe, several western countries such as the United Kingdom recently introduced the programme in the education syllabi.
“We are not the first to implement the programme in our country and if implemented correctly it can be beneficial to the students.”
When implemented Zimbabwe will join other countries such as South Africa, India and the United Kingdom that run a similar programme.
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