JIS News

Phase two of the Ministry of Education’s Career Advancement Programme (CAP) will be rolled out to another 54 schools in September.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Andrew Holness, made the announcement during a tour of the Edith Dalton James High School in St. Andrew yesterday (March 11) to observe how the programme works at the school.
Edith Dalton James is one of 11 institutions across the island, where the initiative, aimed at reducing the number of unattached youth due to inadequate education and skills, is being piloted.
Mr. Holness said that during the next phase, the aim is to increase enrolment from over 1,500 students to about 20,000.
Noting that each year, almost 30,000 teenagers leave secondary school without any form of qualification, the Minister said it is hoped that the programme will eventually reach all these youths, who are neither working nor attending school.
“As long as we cut out that flow of unattached youth, we start to address some of the fundamental economic problems we face. You ever wonder why Jamaica so violent? The police cannot solve that problem, the police can only maintain law and order; they cannot create law and order. Law and order is created in your education system,” he stated.
Launched on February 15, CAP is being implemented in partnership with the HEART Trust/NTA, the National Youth Service (NYS), the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), and the National Transformation Programme.
It is being facilitated under the Compulsory Education Policy (CEP), which is currently being developed, 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 upon successfully completing their course of study.
Principal of Edith Dalton James High, Mr. Ray Howell, said the school is happy to be part of CAP, noting that the programme has made the school more productive with the plant being used at least 13 hours each weekday. The school is currently involved in vocational areas such as cosmetology, food preparation, welding, woodworking and information technology.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Audrey Sewell, in the meantime, shared that the Ministry is looking into other ways to expand the offerings of the programme.
She informed that discussions were advanced with institutions such as the Caribbean Aeronautics Institute and the Caribbean Maritime Institute with a view to add them to the programme, while the Ministry was working on getting job placements for students.
Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Western, where the school is located,
Mr. Anthony Hylton, said he is pleased with the design and delivery of CAP, especially after seeing the reaction of the students participating in the programme.
“They are a little more mature, a little clearer. They have felt some of the hard knocks of life, see how critical this opportunity is and I think, therefore, the appreciation that we see as we move around comes as a result of some of these experiences,” he stated.

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