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Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, says the Ministry is seeking to introduce a National School Leaving Exit Exam by 2015, which aims to enhance the competencies of secondary school graduates.

Addressing a recent forum, organised by the Association of Principals and Vice Principals, at Moneague College, St. Ann, Rev. Thwaites stressed the importance of every secondary school student graduating with competence in at least one marketable skill.

“The person who can, for example, attain competence in auto mechanics or home economics, is as strong, as reputable, and as capable as someone who has 10 and 12 Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) subjects,” he argued.

Meanwhile, Rev. Thwaites informed that secondary school enrolment in Jamaica has improved significantly over the last 20 years, and currently stands at upwards of 90 per cent.

He described secondary education as a “pearl of great price”, adding that many students have been afforded a “really big opportunity” which, in some cases, their parents never had.

“This education is something that is really important in your life, and you must take it seriously. Education remains the only legitimate way for upward mobility in this country,” Rev. Thwaites asserted.

By Garfield L. Angus, JIS Reporter