Wed | Feb 8, 2023

Over 24,000 students enrolled in Sixth-Form Pathways Programme

Published:Thursday | December 8, 2022 | 11:56 AM
She was speaking in the House of Representatives on December 7. - JIS photo

Some 24,238 students are now registered in the Ministry of Education and Youth's Sixth-Form Pathways programme.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, said the students are enrolled in Grade 12 and Grade 13 across Pathways one, two and three in 167 secondary schools and 42 tertiary/post-secondary institutions across all the education regions.

She was speaking in the House of Representatives on December 7.

The education minister explained that after being piloted in 2019, the Sixth-Form Pathways or seven-year high-school programme was launched in September 2020, to allow students to graduate from secondary school with one or more of the following – an occupational associate degree, certificate or a diploma (within an occupational discipline), or an accredited Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) or University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) Associate Degree.

Students can also graduate with Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) subjects (diploma or certificate) or a CAPE Associate Degree, National Vocational Qualification – Jamaica (NVQJ) and/or Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) at Levels two or three.

Williams noted that the CVQ allows Jamaicans to work anywhere in the Caribbean.

Participants may also receive dual certification in the CAPE Associate Degree in Industrial Technology and City and Guilds Engineering Level three, additional entry-level qualification at Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) or City and Guilds, and support towards the first two years of teachers' college in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in teaching.

Williams said that Sixth-Form Pathways brings hope to many students who would have graduated from Grade 11 with reduced opportunities.

“[It] ensures that our students have the NVQJ certification. We are ensuring employability skills and personal and professional development along with career guidance,” Williams said.

“The beauty of these many Pathways is that a student coming in on Pathway III can aspire to be in Pathway I, which is the traditional CAPE Pathway. Before now, the traditional CAPE Pathway may not have even been a thought,” she pointed out.

She noted that guidance counsellors and career coaches continue to work closely with Grade 11 students to determine the Pathway they will pursue.

Williams said that from as early as March in each year, students will be able to do their pre-registration for the Sixth-Form Pathways and receive support to transition seamlessly into further studies.

“For decades, the traditional CAPE Sixth Form was funded by the Government but only a few could access it. Now, every student leaving Grade 11 has the opportunity to benefit from Government support for the furtherance of their education, not just some. This is a thrust at equity, which is an undergirding principle of our education system and every modern democracy,” she stated.

The Government, this fiscal year, is investing approximately $1.5 billion for grants for operations, staffing, materials among other provisions for secondary schools to include exam subsidy for the Sixth-Form Pathways programme.

Williams said that among the outcomes of the programme are increased certification of the population, higher-skilled human capital coming out of schools, increased entrepreneurship and business development, better interpersonal and problem-solving skills, better communication skills, better conflict resolution, and higher order critical thinking.

The Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) is the accrediting agency for the Sixth-Form Pathways occupational associate degrees and has been providing the quality assurance in this regard.

Technical development officers at the Ministry monitor and ensure quality assurance at the secondary level.

- JIS News

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