The main purpose of this study was to identify the challenges to the effective implementation of the Food and Nutrition curriculum in secondary school in Chivi district of Zimbabwe. The research is imperative in that the findings of the study will assist government and other key stakeholders in education to provide support towards the implementation the Food and Nutrition curriculum focused on the identified critical challenges. The study adopted the descriptive survey research design in which 5 schools selected through purposive sampling technique. The population for this study comprised of 60 Ordinary level students in all the secondary schools in Chivi district that are offering food and nutrition as a subject at Ordinary level, 5 school heads and 3 Food and nutrition teachers. The sample comprised of 20 students, 10 parents chosen by a simple random sampling technique. The three teachers and the five school heads automatically became part of the sample. A structured questionnaire, interviews and observations were used as data collection instruments. The findings reveal the following challenges as militating against the effective implementation of the Food and Nutrition curriculum in Chivi district secondary schools: negative attitude by parents and students towards the subject; inadequate professional and qualified teachers for the teaching of Food and Nutrition; inadequate infrastructure and equipment in schools and where the equipment is available it being underutilized due to lack of expertise and inconsistent electrical power supply ; insufficient instructional materials and books in schools ; and that schools are generally poorly financed. Four key recommendations arising from the study are that quarterly awareness campaigns should be carried out in society to educate the public about the importance of Food and Nutrition as well as technical and vocational subjects in the curriculum; training programs in form of seminars, conferences, workshops and in-servicing, should be organized at regular intervals to equip teachers with the requisite skills for the teaching of Food and Nutrition; school should form partnerships with the industries and corporate bodies aimed at financing the implementation of Food and Nutrition curriculum and vocational subjects in secondary schools and that adequate infrastructure, resource materials and facilities should be provided in schools for effective teaching and learning;
Keywords: food and nutrition; vocational and technical education; teaching; implementation; Zimbabwe.
At independence in 1980, the Zimbabwean government declared education as a basic human right and worked flat out to ensure that all people of Zimbabwe had access to education (UNESCO, 2008). Having worked at full throttle translate this philosophy into reality, the focus now is on the improvement of the quality and relevance of education. Part of the efforts to make education more relevant and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the citizens saw the adoption of the two pathway Secondary education system namely the Academic and the vocational/technical to cater for the varied interests, aptitudes and the demands of the world of work of students (Munikwa, 2011). Vocational/ technical education is a vital tool for individual personal development and is seen as a preparation and training for useful employment in trade, industries, agriculture, business and home making with emphasis being on preparing one for self reliance (Azubuike, 2011). Ncube and Hlope (2011) further note that introducing a vocational element in the secondary school curriculum, especially in developing countries, is conducive to economic development. At the secondary level, vocational /technical subjects include: woodwork, metalwork, fashion and fabrics, food and nutrition, home management, computer studies, building studies and technical graphics (Zimbabwe Schools Examinations Council, ZIMSEC, 2012). …