The Role Of Education System In Preparing Youth For Agricultural Career Decisions And Aspirations: Exploring Ways To Attract More Youth To Engage In Agriculture And Agricultural Entrepreneurship in Tanzania
Shayo, Asha Habibu
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Youth intention to pursue a career in agriculture and entrepreneurship is influenced by the knowledge they acquire through formal, informal, and nonformal settings. Changing youth perception of agriculture is essential for agriculture and youth development. The purpose of the study was to examine current youth perceptions of agriculture, solicit Tanzanian leaders' views of agriculture, and youth entrepreneurship. Understand youth intention and aspirations to choose a career in agriculture and agricultural-related fields, and the influence of the education system in shaping youth career decisions and entrepreneurship in agriculture. This study utilized a multi-method approach to examine youth and leaders perception of agriculture and the role of education systems on youth decisions on a career. The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and the Social Cognitive Career Choice (SCCC) were used as the theories involve the human intention and motivation to create knowledge, which may result in changing behavior. Self-efficacy, environment, culture, and critical reflection are essential when constructing knowledge, contribute to youth decision making process and meaning-making. The Theory of Planned Behavior Constructs was used to develop a survey to understand youth intentions to choose a career in agriculture and career the influence of education pathways in youth development. Through the lens of the Theory of Planned Behavior and Social Cognitive Career Choice, unstructured interviews were used to understand (i) the influence of previous background, and the need to teach agriculture to youth at a younger age for agriculture development and (ii) the community perception (leaders, teachers, youth, etc.), on youth career in agriculture and agricultural-related fields, teaching agriculture in schools, perception of agriculture and agricultural entrepreneurship. From the stepwise linear regression analysis, the model predicts 48% of the variance in student intention to choose an agricultural career. The results show that the three predictors' attitudes, perceived behavior control, and subjective norms have an influence on youth pursuing a career in agriculture. From the interviews, participants tabled their concerns about the existence of community negative perception of agriculture, very few have the idea of the agricultural curriculum in schools. Many believed that the education system does not prepare youth in decision making or facing the world challenges when they graduate. For the country's development, Tanzania needs more youth to engage in all kinds of agricultural practices for food security and poverty reduction, such as a career in agriculture and entrepreneurship. Youth can easily adopt new and improved agricultural knowledge due to their aggressiveness, eagerness, creativity, and ability to learn innovations. Motivation, creativity, critical thinking, and taking risks is essential in changing youth perception of agriculture. People they trust will influence their perception, intention, and attitude towards agriculture. Through youth programs, formal education, educators' knowledge, experience, effectiveness, preparation, encouragement, and interaction training youth on new or improved agriculture innovations can influence youth high level of achievement and success in agricultural practices.
General Audience Abstract
Very few primary and secondary schools teach agriculture subjects; therefore, many youths lack agricultural knowledge at a younger age. The formal education system in Tanzania allows students to choose Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) after the completion of their primary and secondary education. However, in most cases, students who are selected to attend TVET, especially agricultural training institutions, are those primary and ordinary level-secondary school students who did not get good grades to go for further studies. Such as advanced level- secondary school or university. Hence it makes agriculture viewed as the last option for students and works well for those who failed. Non Formal education has the potential to contribute to youth intention to career decisions and aspirations in agriculture. Youth programs and apprenticeship can provide skills needed for youth development and entrepreneurship in agriculture. It is essential for agriculture to be treated as a respectable profession and not for failures, retirees, or as a last result. It is my desire, in collaboration with others, to keep working with communities such as schools, youth programs, extension agents, and others in Tanzania to change people's perceptions about agriculture. The sustainability of social change requires leaders to involve diverse stakeholders that can contribute to the success of a common goal. Kuenkel (2016) Posit that "stakeholder collaboration is a form of co-creation" (p. 2). Engage youth in development programs to learn more about agriculture, youth engage in decision-making and participate in trade unions. Also, to attract more youth to become entrepreneurs and invest in agriculture. I desire to see more youth engage in agriculture and pursue a career in agriculture and agricultural-related fields. To see more youth are employed in the agricultural sector and well paid like other professionals. To see a change in policies and programs that will attract youth, especially girls, to study STEM at a younger age. To see leaders pioneer in building a positive perception of agriculture to the community, but also the education policy to change and give prestige agriculture profession by putting requirements like Medicine, Pharmacy, Engineering professions.
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