LETTER OF THE DAY - Schools already training students for work
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I read with interest Patria-Kaye Aarons' article in The Gleaner dated Tuesday, September 2, 2014 titled 'What if we rethink school?'
Your suggestions are spot on. However, you should know that the measures you have suggested have been implemented years ago in the upgraded high schools. It is the Ministry of Education that has failed to recognise and report on these methods that are being used.
If you and other persons in the private sector take the time to do your research you will find out that the "failing schools" are actually training students for the world of work.
The administrators of these school recognized a long time ago that most of the students they receive will not be able to successfully sit the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) so they created alternatives for these students. Students in these schools not only sit the CSEC examination but a combination of National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica subjects assessed by HEART TRUST/NTA and City and Guilds.
Students in these schools start writing these examinations at Grade 10. They do subjects such as carpentry, welding, commercial food preparation, cosmetology, food and beverage, restaurant service, garment construction, interior decorating, information technology, numeracy, English for office skills, customer service, retailing, book keeping and accounts, word processing, business studies, office procedures, technical drawing, building technology (woods), building technology (construction), visual arts, food and nutrition, and home economics management.
Students in these programmes have been very successful and many have started their own businesses while in school, while others choose to continue their studies at the HEART institutions, and still others who have tasted success try their hand at the CSEC after graduation and have been successful.
It is the failure of the Ministry of Education to report on the other examinations being offered that is giving the false impression the 'failing schools' have been graduating students without subjects and making it more difficult for parents and students to buy into these programmes.
My advice to you and others is to do your research. You may be surprised at the results.