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TOPI 5: WORK
The Concept of Work
In any community, people engage in different activities in order to earn money so as to meet their basic needs. People do mental and physical activities to sustain their lives. There are those who make bricks for building houses. Some strive to stock their harvest, while others cultivate land communally for crop production. Some dance in jazz bands and others fish. All these activities are referred to as work
Meaning of Work
Therefore, work can be defined as the use of physical strength and mental skills in making things or providing services. Examples of work include farming, brick-making, livestock-keeping, fishing, carpentry, trading, teaching, nursing patients, etc.
This is an obligation for all adults and able-bodied people to perform different tasks (work). People work to earn a living in different or related activities depending on their skills and abilities. However, some types of work are greatly influenced by the environment in which people live. For example, people who live beside rivers, lakes, or oceans tend to engage in fishing, like the people around Lake Victoria (e.g. Kerewe, Sukuma, Haya and Jita) but in areas which receive reliable rainfall and have fertile soil, free from pests and diseases, people engage in agricultural activities (e.g. Nyakyusa, Haya, Bena and Fipa).
1. Work-related activities. There are two main types of work related activities; namely, physical work and mental work.
2. Physical work-related activities. These are work-related activities that mostly involve the use of one’s physical strength, and include farming, lumbering, plumbing, carpentry, quarrying, mining, building and road construction.
3. Work and Development. People struggle in their works in order to improve their living standards as well as to develop the nation.
Development is the process of changing the socio-economic situation from one stage to another, usually from lower to higher. It is concerned with changing living standards from a lower to a higher level. For instance, if one qualifies to join a secondary school from primary level studies, or if one succeeds in building two houses instead of the one as it was before. All these can be considered as development.
Types of Development
There are two types of development, which are
1. Individual Development
2. National Development.
The Indicators of Individual Development are:
1. Having a good house, clothes, sufficient food, clean water, education and medical care.
2. Being able to solve problems and good relationship with other people.
3. Having work and sufficient income
4. Being able to accumulate capital can also be considered as indicators of individual development.
The Indicators of National Development are:
1. Availability of employment to people,
2. Having enough sources of labour,
3. Build adequate infrastructure like tarmac roads and
4. Provide good quality education and other social services.
5. Ability to create internal and external policies for running the country and the ability to implement them, and
6. Ability to create internal and external markets, where people can sell their goods.
7. Finally, is the country’s ability to do research on natural resources and the proper way of exploiting them for the benefit of the country.
Underdevelopment is the condition of either staying stationary or going back from a more advanced stage to a lower standard of living. For example, having properties and selling all of them without having developed them or having a plot of land and keeping it for a long time without building a house or planting crops.
There is individual and national underdevelopment.
1. Individual Underdevelopment is indicated by the inability to provide for ones essentials like shelter, food, clothes together with other needs like education, health care, water and furniture. Also one remains idle all the time without doing anything to earn an income.
2. National Underdevelopment may involve things such as limited number of skilled labourers, internal and external debts, low level of education, poor policies for running the country, bad and insufficient infrastructure. Also there is failure to safeguard and maintain national sovereignty and relying on external conditionals to run the country.
IMPORTANCE OF WORK
The importance of work is directed to an individual when involving oneself at work for own benefit.
The Importance of Work for Self-Development
1. It provides human beings with their basic needs, including food, clothing and shelter, and the source of income for an individual. For example, peasants earn money after selling part of their harvest, with which they are able to buy clothes, food and iron sheets for roofing their houses, as well as paying school fees for their children.
2. Work is also a means of social identity. For example, society identifies an individual as a teacher, a lawyer, a nurse, a driver, a trader or a peasant.
3. Work can be a source of foreign exchange. For example, mining produces a lot of minerals for export like gold, diamond and Tanzanite, which bring a lot of foreign currency to Tanzania, which are used to import other commodities from foreign countries. It can also be obtained from exporting cash crops, such as, cotton, coffee and tea.
4. Work helps to maintain the physical and mental health of individuals and, is a standard of moral belonging and God’s justice on earth.
5. Work solves the problem of poverty and improve life standards of the individuals
6. Work also helps to promote the cultural aspects of some communities such as the Makonde carvings.
7. Work helps to check crime or wrong doings, like killing, drug abuse or robbery. So with work, people are unlikely to engage in crime.
8. Through work, the production of goods and services at the individual level will greatly be increased, hence, boosts the economic and social status of an individual.
9. Work gives people a sense of dignity, self-worth and respect to a person. A person who works diligently is greatly respected in the society. Laziness brings disrespect and loss of dignity.
Importance of Work to the Development of the Nation
The importance of work is directed to improvement of the life of the people in the country. Therefore, work is very important for the development of the nation because:
1. It helps to reduce the number of people who are unemployed and facilitates the utilization of material and human resources in the country.
2. If all able-bodied people in a country are working, it is easy to bring rapid national development and maintain peace, security and stability.
3. Additionally, it is a source of national income and foreign currency.
4. It helps the nation to provide public services such as water, education, electricity and medical care.
5. Lastly, work helps in promoting proper moral behaviour in the society or the nation at large.