A total of 19,122 students are enrolled in the Ministry of Education and Youth’s Sixth-Form Pathways Programme (SFPP).
The number comprises 12, 275 students in grade 12 and 6, 847 in grade 13.
The Ministry implemented the SFPP as a seven-year high-school programme that allows students who complete grade 11 to pursue an additional two-year course of study with alternative opportunities, alongside the traditional sixth-form curriculum.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, in her recent Sectoral Debate presentation, said that the SFPP is also being employed as a learning loss mitigation strategy for those students who left grade 11 in June 2021 with significantly reduced educational levels, having lost almost two years as a result of the pandemic.
“It is to give those students a fighting chance that we have created two new pathways, which focused on providing students with an opportunity to meet the minimum certification standard and support them in working towards attaining an Associate Degree by the end of grade 13,” she noted.
Under the programme, students will be able to leave the secondary education system with one or more of the following: an Occupational Associate Degree, which offers workplace competencies while they are learning the discipline; Certificate or Diploma (within an occupational discipline); an accredited Council of Community College of Jamaica (CCCJ) or University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) Associate Degree; Additional Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and City and Guilds subjects to include Mathematics and English; and National Vocation Qualification-Jamaica (NVQJ) and/or Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) levels two or three.
The NVQJ is equivalent to an Associate Degree on the National Qualification Framework of Jamaica, while the CVQ allows individuals to work anywhere in the Caribbean.
For those students who choose not to attend a tertiary institution, the certification they receive at the end of the programme will prepare them to enter various fields of work or receive further general or technical training.
“The SFPP provides an opportunity for approximately 20,000 students who would not otherwise have this opportunity for certification,” Minister Williams said.