KINGSTON — Approximately 9,376 students are currently enrolled in the Ministry of Education’s Career Advancement Programme (CAP), which is being undertaken in 58 schools islandwide.
Providing an update on the programme during a consultation session at the Medallion Hall in Kingston on Friday, Technical Director, CAP, Dr. Janet Dyer, informed that of this figure, 5,466 are males, while 3,910 are females.
"This is saying something for us. We are reaching the males that are out there, as for every female in the programme, we have two males," she said.
The CAP, piloted in 11 schools in 2010, aims at ensuring that students leaving secondary schools are literate and numerate, and have some form of technical and vocational qualification for post-secondary study or work.
The programme seeks to stem the problem of youth being unattached, because of inadequate education and skills.
Participating students do a mix of academic subjects and vocational skills, while benefitting from career counselling and mentorship, training in life skills, entrepreneurship, and personal development.The final stage of the programme involves career orientation and job placement.
Dr. Dyer noted that 16 schools in Kingston are participating in the programme, while there are 42 schools in the rural areas, adding that 10 of the schools are funded through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
"There are three colleges offering pre-college programmes at five locations. In the grade 12, we have 8,750 and the grade 13 group that’s coming from our pre-pilot phase, we have 806," she said.
The Technical Director pointed out that 575 students are enrolled in pre-college institutions, while 8654 are in high schools.
"For the assessment of students in our senior schools, in the pre-pilot phase we had 812 students sitting exams in Mathematics and English levels one and two at City & Guilds and we came out with an 86 per cent pass rate for that pre-pilot phase. The same 812 students took part in the National Council on Technical Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) exams. They sat a part of the qualification and all the students who did that exam have been recommended to go on to the second phase of the exam, which will be held next month," she informed.
She said that 7,766 students have been enrolled for the City and Guilds International Vocational Qualification exams in Mathematics and English, with some 8,654 enrolled for exams in the NCTVET at levels one and two.
The CAP is implemented in partnership with the HEART Trust/NTA, the National Youth Service (NYS), the Jamaica Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), and the National Transformation Programme.
It is being facilitated under the Compulsory Education Policy (CEP), and seeks to ensure that all children from age three to 18, are attached to, and are attending structured learning and training programmes. Persons will receive certification from HEART on successfully completing their course of study.
By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter