WITH APPROXIMATELY 20 per cent of students failing to turn up for CSEC exams which were paid for by the taxpayers, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites is adamant that the time has come for a rethink of the way the subsidy is given.
"The Government of Jamaica as well as many other philanthropic (entities) pay for the entries of many, many students. Regretfully, what we are finding is that a significant number of those who are paid for do not even turn up for the examination," said Thwaites.
He added: "That has to be remedied; we cannot afford to waste that money - millions and millions of dollars and we are going to have to review the criteria for entry that is applicable for those students."
Reform the system
It is the second time in two years that the Government is moving to reform the system.
In 2010, the then Government reviewed the way in which it approached the payment for the subjects.
Then Education Minister Andrew Holness announced that the Government would no longer subsidise students sitting mathematics, English language, information technology and a science subject in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence on a broad scale.
Under the revision, students were required to have a grade point that would suggest that they were capable of getting a pass mark in the exam.
The Government has been paying for students to sit the four subjects since 2002.