Compulsory sixth form will better prepare students, insists Williams | Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News

Education, Youth and Information Minister Fayval Williams is assuring parents that the compulsory Sixth-Form Pathways Programme will better prepare students for higher-level academics or entry into the workforce.

The new initiative, slated to commence in September 2022, is part of the ministry’s implementation of a seven-year high-school programme.

It allows students who complete grade 11 to enrol and pursue a two-year course of study with alternative opportunities alongside the traditional sixth-form curriculum.

It will be facilitated in all public secondary schools, along with 24 private and 10 public tertiary institutions.
Addressing a tablet presentation ceremony at Black River Primary and Infant School in St Elizabeth on November 12, Williams explained that the programme is designed to provide students with the opportunity to secure multiple qualifications within the two years, acquire college credits, and entrepreneurial skills, as well as prepare learners for better job opportunities.

“Our boys and girls who get to fifth form or grade 11 and they graduate without any Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) subjects or maybe one or two, they are at a disadvantage. When you look in the newspaper, or you go online, and you look at jobs, and you look at the requirements, inevitably, they are asking for five Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects with mathematics and English,” Williams pointed out.

“We want to ensure that they get the necessary skills and that when they leave [school], they are certified, they have a degree and are able to go into the work world or if they choose,” she said further.

She indicated that the ministry is taking steps to educate parents and students about the benefits of the new initiative.

“Parents…, I know that we need to speak with you more to help you to understand this programme, and we are doing that. We’ve started having town hall meetings with parents and students because we want you to understand the benefit that this programme has for your children,” Williams noted.

The new programme will offer three learning pathways for students.

These are the traditional pathways comprising the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), a certificate and or associate degree, or Council of Community College of Jamaica/University Council of Jamaica (CCCJ/UCJ) accredited associate degree; Technical pathway – Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate/Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CSEC/CAPE), National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training/Caribbean Vocational Qualification (NCTVET/CVQ) Level Two or Three; or the general pathway – CSEC, City and Guilds, and NCTVET Level Two.

Students will be able to secure multiple qualifications within the two years and acquire college credits that will provide a head start in their tertiary studies.

JIS News