Agriculture in the primary school curriculum: Providing the impetus to the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation

Richard Bukaliya

Abstract


Zimbabwe is an agro-based country and the majority of citizens rely of agriculture for their livelihoods. In order to foster a culture meant towards the realisation of adequate agriculture output, a number of initiatives have been put in place. Among these is the introduction of agriculture in the primary schools. The introduction has come with its own successes and challenges. This study sought to establish the successes and challenges in implementation of agriculture in primary schools. This study adopted the descriptive survey approach in which questionnaires were used to solicit data required to answer the research questions. The research data were obtained from 100 primary school teachers in Chegutu district. The teachers were drawn from different categories of primary schools which included urban, farm and mine schools. Results show that most schools in Chegutu district have a sustainable programme on Agriculture for Grade 7 pupils. Most schools are on track to implement the subject as evidenced by the establishment of Agriculture subject committees among other initiatives. Pupils have been sensitised on the importance of agriculture and show a greater sense of motivation and are well prepared to keep the programme going. Some few teachers seem to be just fulfilling the mandatory requirements of implementing the curriculum on teaching Agriculture as an examinable subject at Grade 7 level. Owing to the importance of Agriculture, the subject should be standalone subject and be schemed and planned for. Thorough supervision of teachers and pupils’ work should be undertaken by both the school heads and District Education Officers. The Civil Service Commission Inspectors should also supervise the full implementation of the programme in the schools. Some schools do not have even one qualified teacher for agriculture and for this reason; the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (MoPSE) should through the Public Service Commission (PSC) engage at least one qualified agriculture teacher per school.