Agricultural Education in Secondary Schools in Tanzania: Were the Objectives of its Introduction Realised?
This study aims to assess whether the objectives of introducing agricultural education in secondary schools were realised. The whereabouts of graduates from agriculture biased schools was traced to establish their activities and determine their attitude towards the significance of secondary agricultural education in Tanzania. Forty three former students who studied agricultural education in secondary schools between 1983 and 1993 were traced through their history from secondary education up to employment using a questionnaire that included an attitude index. Empirical results indicated that 62.8% joined tertiary agricultural institutes, and about 67.4% of those employed as service providers in various sectors were also engaged in part-time farming. However, only 7% were self-employed as farmers. Results further indicate that respondents had a positive attitude towards agricultural education, and they felt that knowledge and skills that they gained in secondary schools are not fully utilized in productive agriculture because of the lack capital and support for engaging in commercial farming. The study concludes that having agricultural education at secondary school level contributes positively in developing agricultural human capital. Hence, there is a need to support the teaching of agriculture in secondary schools by providing practical skills that aim at modernizing farming, and to assist graduates access initial capital for agricultural activities. This will attract them to take farming as a career of choice.