Employment Creation and Extreme Poverty Eradication through Open and Distance eLearning and Technical-Vocational Education and Training in Zimbabwe
This study explored how Open and Distance eLearning (ODeL) system is enhancing employment creation and extreme poverty eradication in Zimbabwe. Poverty is a challenge in developing countries in the presence of unemployment and lack of education. This study aimed to put into perspective the strides made by ODeL institutions in Zimbabwe towards extreme poverty eradication through TVET in the education system. Data were collected from purposively selected 20 ODeL graduates including; entrepreneurs, street vendors, and individuals, formally and informally employed, by using interviews and observation, in this case study. The study employed thematic analysis for the narrative qualitative data. The study revealed that poverty can be reduced through skills empowerment to learners at all educational levels. Exposure to a bouquet of vocational subjects in technical-vocational institutions has enabled entrepreneurs to create employment, applying acquired skills. The major barriers to effective entrepreneurship and employment creation were the scarcity of resources and natural disasters. The study is also significant that educational planners and policy-makers may formulate policies that encourage school and college graduates to be innovative, self-reliant, and may guard against extreme poverty in their communities. It can be concluded that possession and application of vocational skills may create employment and eradicate extreme poverty. It is, therefore, recommended that TVET starts early in life for innovativeness and effective use of available resources. Further research could be carried out on the nature of programmes in learning institutions that empower learners with skills for employment creation, sustainable development, and extreme poverty eradication.
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