RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LEARNING OF AGRICULTURE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS AND EMPLOYMENT CREATION BY OUT-OF-SCHOOL YOUTH IN EMUHAYA SUB-COUNTY, VIHIGA COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
Secondary school Agriculture in Kenya should equip the learners with knowledge and practical skills necessary for creation of employment. Agriculture is believed to be the backbone of the Kenyan economy contributing to over 30% of the Gross Domestic Product and employs about 80% of the rural population. Kenya Vision 2030 positions agriculture as a key driver for delivering the 10% annual economic growth. It is estimated that 64% of unemployed persons in Kenya are youth, indicating a serious employment problem. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the learning of Agriculture in secondary schools and employment creation for out-of-school youth in Emuhaya sub-County. The relationship between secondary school Agriculture learning and youth employment creation to be determined was in terms of the knowledge gained, practical skills acquired by the students, methods of learning and learning resources used by the out-of-school youth. The study was done in Emuhaya sub-County and adopted descriptive research design method. The target population was the youth who learnt Agriculture in secondary schools. Proportionate simple random sampling was used to sample 150 youth out of a total population of 2,736 youth who sat for KCSE in Emuhaya sub-County between 2010-2012. Emuhaya sub-County being an agricultural potential area, little attention has been taken to identify why the youth who have studied Agriculture in schools are unemployed and idle. Data was collected using structured questionnaire. Academic experts from the Department of Agricultural Education and Extension validated the instrument. The instrument had a Cronbach‟s Alpha reliability coefficient of 0.8 at 0.05 level of significance. The data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences, version 20 based on the objectives and research questions. The relationship between the learning of Agriculture in secondary school and employment creation was determined using frequency tables and percentages. The study established that learning of Agriculture in secondary schools practically with use of agricultural resources promoted skill acquisition, which promotes employment creation for out-of-school youth in Emuhaya sub-County, Vihiga County. The study recommends curriculum developers to outline aspects of knowledge, teachers to involve learners during instruction, teachers to employ various learning methods to students and schools to avail learning resources all these geared towards youth to create employment in agriculture. The study also recommends replicating similar studies in other levels of education such as primary schools and universities.

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background of the Study
School Agriculture originated in Europe where according to Case (2010) was referred to as the classical model of Agricultural education. In 1896, there emerged the North European model that offered prevocational education, and this included apprenticeship. In 1910, there was the North American model, which emphasized vocational education; it included demonstration plots by students in schools and homes. There were classrooms and a group of Future Farmers of America [FFA] a young, as well as adults‟ farmer class. Between 1930 and 1950, there was the East European model, which offered pre-vocational training that included polytechnism. This model had a state farm, and from 1960 to the present, we have a neo- classical model that offers mainly pre-vocational training and education in learning institutions that offer Agriculture as a subject (Case, 2010).

The introduction of Agricultural Principles and Practices Syllabus in 1969 was a major innovation in curriculum development, for it introduced a new syllabus that never existed, and this formed the foundation in the entire East Africa, as it became the East Africa Examination Council [EAEC] Agriculture syllabus. Ngugi, Temu and Kitalyi (2002) further echoed that, Agricultural education remains the key to industrialization by virtue of agricultural produce being the main source of raw materials for agribusiness and agric- industry. In East Africa, according to Ngugi et al (2002), it is a top priority in almost all national development plans. The importance of agricultural development is underlined by its potential contribution to national food security, foreign exchange earnings, Gross Domestic Product [GDP] and employment in both formal and informal sectors. Konyango (2010) says that, school Agriculture is considered in most countries around the world to be the key to social and economic prosperity.

The examination and the nature of the question papers at the EAEC and later Kenya Certificate of Education [KCE], between 1963 and 1984 reflected both the practical and rural nature of the syllabus (EAEC, 1976; Kenya National Examination Council [KNEC], 1987). Konyango, Onyango and Kibett (2010), concluded that the introduction of Agriculture as a vocational subject contributed not only to curriculum diversification but also towards positive attitude to, not only Agriculture but also practical education in Kenya‟s education system of which this study will look at the practical skills acquired from school Agriculture. The United States Agency for International Development [USAID] and International Development Association [IDA], contribution to vocational Agriculture programs, made a breakthrough by introducing Agriculture subject in the secondary education system. From 1985 to the present, there is the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education [KCSE] an examination that examines Agriculture at the end secondary school education in form four.

Maxwell (1965) further indicated that, during the introduction of Agriculture in Kenya, the USAID project set out the following objectives; the need for technical advice and assistance in teaching vocational Agriculture; Making rural secondary education in Kenya more practical and more responsive to the developmental needs of the country; Developing a system of education that will facilitate starting similar courses in more rural secondary schools in the country. According to Konyango (2010) Vihiga County is the origin of secondary school Agriculture in Kenya, which started at Chavakali High School, in 1959 January, with 35 boys and 2 teachers, it had no head teacher, and it was the first day secondary school in Kenya and the first to be initially financed from local sources.

The decline of the agricultural sector underscores the precarious food security and nutrition status of the estimated 80 percent of the Kenyan population that derives its livelihood from a declining sector (Central Bureau of Statistics [CBS], 2004). Kenya was a food surplus country until 1998 but now has developed a structural deficit and is a net importer of all the staple cereals, pulses and livestock products (Ministry of Agriculture [MoA], 2010). Wayne (2012) claimed that, the ultimate purpose of Agricultural education is to train the individuals to think such that they may solve social and economic problems, which they may meet and to prepare them for complete living. Kenya Vision 2030 is the nation‟s new development blueprint for 2008 to 2030, which aims at making Kenya an industrialized middle-income country and to provide high quality life for all its citizens by the year 2030.

The Agriculture curriculum has topics, which require well-equipped Agriculture workshop, school farm, and machines that should be available in most schools (Konyango, 2010). This study also aimed at determining resources used in schools for learning Agriculture that may help the youth in employment creation. Students should attend field trips and visit agricultural institutions or research stations where the learners can have tangible experience of the facilities and resources or in Agricultural Society of Kenya [ASK] shows. A forward- looking program of Agricultural education always involves recognition of changing social and economic needs of the contributions of scientific and technical knowledge. This study looked at the knowledge gained in secondary school Agriculture.

Secondary school Agriculture is one of the subjects that aim at meeting the needs of the students who terminate their education after secondary school (Education Info Centre, 2006). Methods of teaching such as project method, experimental method, co-operative method among others, aid to expand the learners‟ scope of thinking and acting on various Agricultural principles. As well, it ought to be used to solve daily problems of unemployment prevalent in the rural community by carrying out agricultural activities. This study also looked at how the methods of learning Agriculture in secondary schools, helped the youth, once out-of-school, to take up employment in agriculture, to reduce unemployment cases as well as rural to urban migration of the out of school rural youth.

Young farmers play an important role in ensuring food security for future generations although they face many challenges. Statistics on rural youth employment are scarce because the country‟s employment data is not disaggregated according to locality (rural/urban) and age group (International Labor Organization [ILO], 2007). Kenyan youth are all individuals in the Republic who are between 18 and 35 years. It is estimated that 78.31% of Kenyans are below 35 years and that 64% of unemployed persons in Kenya are youth. Only 1.5% of the unemployed youth have formal education beyond secondary school level and the remaining 98.5% have no vocational or professional training with majorities in rural Kenya (Kenya National Bureau of Statistics [KNBS], 2010). Emuhaya sub-County has, 155,065 youth comprising of 72,012 males and 83,053 females where only 34,242 males and 37,793 females are employed but the remaining 83,030 youths, comprising 37,770 males and 45,260 females are unemployed (KNBS, 2010). This shows a serious unemployment problem. Most of these secondary school leavers don‟t get formal employment hence proper Agriculture education offered in schools should provide the school leavers with core skills in agriculture which will enable them to be self reliant through self employment.

The Ministry of Agriculture [MoA] (2010) as reported by the Agricultural Sector Development Agency [ASDA] revealed that the sector accounts for 65% of the Kenya‟s total exports; provides more than 18% of formal employment; accounts for more than 70% of informal employment in the rural areas and generally provides a livelihood for close to 80% of the Kenyan population. This study intended to establish the status of Agriculture in secondary schools to determine how the learners view the usefulness of learning Agriculture in the secondary school curriculum in relation to employment creation after school. The various stages in which Agriculture has undergone since its introduction in 1926 also assisted in focusing this study. First, the subject was introduced in 1926 followed by its drop in 1931 because the parents associated it with manual work yet they wanted their children to get white-collar jobs. It was re-introduced in 1960 at Chavakali in Vihiga County where Emuhaya sub-County is located. Since then it has elicited numerous arguments both at policy and school levels as to whether the subject should be retained or withdrawn form the secondary school curriculum (Konyango, 2010). With all these, the subject since its introduction has not received the dignity it deserved considering its vital role. Currently, the subject is placed under electives in secondary school curriculum. The question was to determine the relationship between teaching of Agriculture and employment creation in secondary schools. This study attempts to answer this question and targets the 2,736 out of school youth who studied Agriculture as their technical subject in KCSE from the year 2010 to 2012 in the 32 secondary schools who are the actual consumers of the curriculum in Emuhaya sub-County.

Agriculture is learned in Kenyan secondary schools as a technical and applied subject to help learners apply the knowledge and skills after school. Kenya gained independence with a pledge to fight ignorance through provision of quality and relevant education, to meet the demands of her people such as employment, illiteracy reduction, food production and the need to industrialize were the critical issues of concern at independence. Education commissions were constituted to recommend ways of improving the education sector. Agriculture is the backbone of Kenya‟s economy thus the main stay of Kenya‟s economy currently contributing to 24% of the GDP directly, and 27% indirectly (GoK, 2012).

Statement of the Problem
Secondary school Agriculture is one of the subjects that aim at self-reliance since it is a technical and applied science subject. It is estimated that 78.31% of Kenyans are below 35 years and that 64% of unemployed persons in Kenya are youth. Only 1.5% of the unemployed youth have formal education beyond secondary school level and the remaining 98.5% have no vocational or professional training with majority in rural Kenya. Studies have been carried out on enrollment, performance and other aspects of secondary school Agriculture but none has been done to determine the relationship between how the subject is learned in relation to youth employment creation. This study focused on the 2,736 youth who sat for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination between the years 2010 and 2012 in Emuhaya Sub-County. The sub-County borders Kakamega and Siaya Counties, which offers a ready market for agricultural produce. The area has good fertile soils and favorable climate for agriculture yet the youth do not use these opportunities for agricultural employment. The rate of youth unemployment in Emuhaya sub-County is high; the youth are idle, which lead to problems of increase in crime and other social related vices among the youth. Food insecurity is also a major concern now, yet Agriculture should offer vital skills to school leavers for self-reliance or salaried employment while on the other hand producing sufficient food through improved modern farming techniques and biotechnologies. Little attention has been taken to identify whether the original objectives of making agriculture a dignified and profitable occupation have been diverted or shelved in Emuhaya sub-County. The critical question of this study was to find out why unemployed youth who studied Agriculture fail to take up agriculture for employment in Emuhaya Sub-County.

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between the learning of Agriculture in secondary school and employment creation for out-of-school youth in Emuhaya sub-County, of Vihiga County, Kenya. This will facilitate improvement of teaching and learning processes in order to inspire the youth to create employment in agriculture.

Objectives of the Study
This study was guided by the following objectives:

i. To determine the relationship between the knowledge gained in secondary school Agriculture and employment creation for out-of-school youth.

ii. To determine the relationship between the practical skills acquired in secondary school Agriculture and employment creation for out-of-school youth.

iii. To determine the relationship between secondary school Agriculture learning methods and employment creation for out-of-school youth.

iv. To determine the relationship between Agriculture learning resources in secondary school and employment creation for out-of-school youth.

Research Questions
The research questions below guided the study:

i. What is the relationship between the knowledge gained in secondary school Agriculture and employment creation for out-of-school youth after school?

ii. What is the relationship between practical skills acquired in secondary school Agriculture and employment creation for out-of-school youth?

iii. What is the relationship between Agriculture learning methods in secondary school and employment creation for out-of-school youth?

iv. What is the relationship between Agriculture learning resources in secondary school and employment creation for out-of-school youth?

Significance of the Study
This study examined the relationship between learning secondary school Agriculture and employment creation for out-of-school youth. Agriculture teachers could be the direct beneficiaries of this study as they could use the findings to improve the curriculum implementation. The teachers may as well motivate learners to take agricultural activities as employment after secondary school education in the sub-County, to reduce unemployment rates in the sub-County. Study findings will inform policy makers to device policies to adjust the teaching in schools, towards employment after school. Policy makers may be required to create improved, appropriate and affordable methods of learning Agriculture for youth employment after school. Since implementation of secondary school Agriculture instruction for employment requires resources, policy makers may set funds aside to expand both on-and off-farm income activities for youth living in the rural areas. Agricultural technology development of these youth may need to focus beyond yield enhancement and address other features that complement other off-farm employment activities. Improved food security in the sub-County and marketing will enable the youth to sell the surplus produce for income generation thus reducing crime and other social vices youth may engage in when they are idle.

Scope of the Study
This study was conducted in Emuhaya sub-County that borders Kakamega and Siaya Counties that offer good market for agricultural products from the sub-County. The study focused on the 2,736 youth as provided by the Emuhaya sub-County KCSE results, the out- of-school youth aged 18 to 35 years who studied Agriculture in 32 secondary schools in the sub-County from the year 2010 to 2012. Relationship between school Agriculture aspects namely; knowledge gained, practical skills acquired, methods of learning, learning resources and attitudes of youth towards Agriculture with employment creation by out-of-school youth were studied.

Limitation of the Study
i. Due to differences in facilities, teachers and methods of learning Agriculture in various schools, the youth from different schools may have varied opinions and perceptions hence creating wide differences that were overcame by assuming similar environment applied to all respondents.

ii. The study was limited to 2,736 out of school youth who sat for their KCSE Agriculture as a technical subject from the year 2010 to 2012 in the 32 secondary schools in Emuhaya sub-County.

Assumptions of the Study
The study had the following assumptions:

i. The respondents will be cooperative and will give true and accurate information.

ii. The youth will not be migratory during the study period.

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Item Type: Kenyan Material  |  Attribute: 61 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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