Principal says schools producing unqualified students
Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:Dr Angela Samuels-Harris, principal of the Montego Bay Community College, says the majority of secondary school students are leaving school without meeting the requirements to attend colleges and universities.
Samuels-Harris was speaking at the Western Jamaica Economic Forum, which was jointly hosted by the St James Parish Council and the Montego Bay Community College at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, on Wednesday.
Speaking on the topic: 'Collaborating for Development: Western Jamaica Tertiary Institutions', Samuels-Harris made her comment against the background that, over the past decade, there has been a major increase in the number of colleges and universities being set up in western Jamaica.
"Unfortunately, although we have an increase in the number of tertiary institutions here in western Jamaica, we are not seeing the increase in the number of school leavers who are suitably qualified to enter college or university," the educator said, noting that the University Council's requirement for entry to university in Jamaica is five CSEC subjects including English and Mathematics.
Speaking specifically about the situation in Montego Bay, Samuels-Harris said the latest results showed that only 859 students fully qualified for entry to tertiary institution.
NUMBERS NEED TO BE BETTER
"The total number of students who qualified in Jamaica for 2014 was 7,181, which is not much. So, all across Jamaica, we need to increase those numbers," Samuels-Harris said.
The educator said because of the existing situation, administrators of tertiary institutions have had to be bending over backwards to accommodate students who failed to meet the requirements.
"Some of us have had to take persons in provisionally, where they have five subjects or more including English and or Mathematics. So, sometimes, they may have the English, they don't have the mathematics," said Samuels-Harris.
The educator said there needs to be partnership, not only among tertiary institutions, but also with secondary schools, to forge stronger academic links to aid students.