Some 30,000 students in Jamaica were registered this year to sit various examinations offered by City and Guilds, the organisation’s Caribbean representative has disclosed.
Marva Duncanson, City and Guilds Caribbean Representative, revealed that 79 per cent of candidates achieved a passing grade in English, while 57 per cent passed Mathematics in the City and Guilds exams.
City and Guilds, an alternative examination to the Caribbean Examinations Council’s (CXC) CSEC and CAPE, also offers qualifications in Customer Service, Engineering and proficiency awards in 12 occupational pathways, Duncanson noted.
Speaking at the City and Guilds Awards function at the Hotel Four Seasons in Kingston on Friday, December 1, Duncanson noted that only 43 per cent of the national cohort achieved passing grades in CSEC, compared to the 57 per cent pass rate in City and Guilds.
She said while the math results were “not good”, she noted that the cohort which sat the exams earlier this year was in grade eight when the pandemic struck, resulting in their education being “greatly interrupted”.
She encouraged school principals to register their students to sit Level 3 at City and Guilds but said they should register students for Level 1 or Level 2 if they could not manage Level 3.
Meanwhile, Duncanson said students passing Customer Service were employed in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, one of the largest employers of young people.
“From an anecdotal perspective, it seems that so many of these young people who did our customer service exam are employed in the BPO sector because we get so many requests for validation of their certification”, Duncanson said.
Marva Duncanson, City and Guilds Caribbean Representative, with UK directors Mandy Smith and Alan Howard.
She noted that there was a 49 per cent improvement in registration in customer service over the previous year and that the pass rate had improved from 43 per cent to 50 per cent.
Several secondary schools as well as HEART/NSTA institutions are recognised by City and Guilds for registering 200 or more students to sit the exams.
Duncanson also disclosed that 4,500 students were registered for skills proficiency awards, which are subsidised by the Ministry of Education and Youth.
Meanwhile, Mandy Smith, Director of City and Guilds International, expressed thanks to the stakeholders in Jamaica, including the ministry, the schools and the teachers for their belief in City and Guilds to deliver quality education.
Also speaking at the function Dr Ventley Brown, chief business executive at City and Guilds, encouraged grade 10 students preparing for CSEC exams to register for the IT in Office Applications exam in City and Guilds.
According to Dr Brown, a former principal of Spanish Town High School, the City and Guilds exam will prepare the CSEC to produce better School-Based Assessments (SBAs) in their respective subject areas because of the learning of formatting pages and preparing their papers.
Dr Brown also encouraged school leaders to incorporate City and Guilds into their sixth-form programmes, free of cost.
He also noted that City and Guilds qualifications have been endorsed by most universities and colleges, the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the Jamaica Defence Forces as well as other organisations.