JIS News

Cabinet has approved the new policy position on Government subsidies for students pursuing the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) Examinations.
“The new policy will see government subsidies going to students who have attained a historic grade that would ensure a pass at the actual sitting of the exam. So we would no longer fund the two compulsory subjects and the one other science and information technology subject on a broad scale,” Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness said.
The Minister who was speaking at the post-Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday (Aug. 25) at Jamaica House, explained that students must now have a grade point that will qualify them for funding.
“We intend to use their historic grades from 10 and 11 to come up with that average that would qualify them for subsidy. This has been a matter of debate for some time. We have given adequate notice, at least three years notice of the change. I believe that students in the education system are prepared for it and I believe that it will save the government and the public coffers quite a bit,” Mr. Holness said.
The Education Minister also noted that the change in policy direction was necessary as “every year we lose approximately $5 million from students for whom we have paid for but they do not turn up to sit the exams.”
“Then we look at the pass rates, and we find that 40 per cent of our students are getting below the pass grade. So instead of just giving a flat subsidy we should incentivise the subsidy. In other words we should use the subsidy as an incentive for performance,” Mr. Holness said.
Meanwhile, Minister Holness said that the cut off score for the subsidy will not be “prohibitively high and will be kept at a level where we will be able to capture most students who would, by virtue of their past performance suggest that their performance on the actual exam will give them a level three score or higher on their Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination.”
“So we will be announcing the cut off grade in another month or so and the policy will take effect for the next sitting of CXC, and Caribbean Advance Proficiency Exams,” Mr. Holness said.

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