Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Letter of the Day | City & Guilds reversal leaves students in limbo

Published:Friday | February 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM


This is an open letter to the minister of education, Senator Ruel Reid.

The Ministry of Education, in 2011, partnered with City & Guilds, a United Kingdom-based examination body, for the delivery of examination certification in mathematics and English. The programme was initially offered to students in the Career Advancement Programme and was, in 2012, extended to grade 11 students. This was an admirable move by the ministry and provided thousands of students across the country with certification demonstrating their competence in mathematics and English.

The Jamaica Information Service, on May 29, 2016, reports, inter alia "The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has invited employers in the public and private sectors to recognise certification by City & Guilds Institute in mathematics and English language as sufficient for entry-level jobs. The ministry is also asking post-secondary institutions to accept this qualification for matriculation into their programmes."

I sat the City & Guilds Mathematics Stage 3 in June 2017. I received a distinction in this examination and was told that it could be used to matriculate to tertiary education. This is, however, not the case.

A number of us have been told by the registrar's office that the ministry no longer accepts our City & Guilds certification. The said ministry that has endorsed and asked post-secondary institutions to accept this certification has reneged on its previous pronouncement.

The consequence of this change in policy means that the students, we who are currently at the tertiary level, are asked to sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) mathematics examination and pass it, with the threat of removal from our programme.

It means, therefore, that we are matriculated provisionally until we have passed the CSEC equivalent. The issue extends even further as those students who are scheduled to sit the examination this year for hope of matriculation will meet the same fate.

It is against this background, Honourable Minister, that I seek your intervention in this issue.


Student, Church Teachers' College