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    Story Highlights

    • Approximately 25,000 students will benefit from a landmark agreement signed between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and international skills development organisation, City & Guilds.
    • The arrangement will see Jamaican students being afforded globally recognised certification by the City & Guilds Group.
    • The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by representatives of the Ministry and City & Guilds during a ceremony at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew, on Wednesday (November 27).

    Approximately 25,000 students will benefit from a landmark agreement signed between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and international skills development organisation, City & Guilds.

    The arrangement will see Jamaican students being afforded globally recognised certification by the City & Guilds Group.

    The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by representatives of the Ministry and City & Guilds during a ceremony at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in St. Andrew, on Wednesday (November 27).

    Under the MOU, City & Guilds Caribbean office will offer certification in Mathematics and English, Engineering, Skills Proficiency Awards and Customer Service over a 10-year period.

    Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Grace McLean, who gave an overview of the partnership said the agreement is an alternative pathway that students can access to achieve higher education.

    “We are projecting that 25,000 students will sit the examinations in 2020, and we are happy to say that [it’s] not only students in grades 11, 12 and 13 [who] will sit these examinations but HEART Trust/NTA [students] will also be sitting the examinations. Last year, the HEART Trust/NTA entered students and they achieved a 96 per cent pass rate, which is very commendable,” she stated.

    The Permanent Secretary indicated that 22 local universities, including the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Caribbean Maritime University “are accepting our students for stage three to pursue their undergraduate studies”.

    Dr. McLean said there has been a gradual “trending up” of improved student performance in examinations.

    “For the 2019 examination period, we had 21,000 students registered and we achieved an average success rate of 68 per cent. When we started we were in our 40s and we have seen the gradual trend, that is, moving in the right direction, of our students doing better and better in this examination,” she observed.

    Executive Director, City & Guilds International, Jeremy Dahdi, concurred on the latter point, adding that over the years, the number of Jamaicans sitting the global training organisation’s examinations and attaining qualifications has increased from a few thousand to over 44,000 this year.

    “This ceremony recognises the great work the Ministry and City & Guilds started nearly a decade ago, in helping young Jamaicans develop skills that will serve them throughout their careers. The signing of this 10-year contract will ensure Jamaicans are given every opportunity to succeed right through to 2030,” he said.

    For his part, British High Commissioner to Jamaica, His Excellency Asif Anwar Ahmad, who brought greetings at the ceremony, said the relationship between the Jamaican and British Governments is further strengthened by partnerships of this nature.

    “This partnership is actually a two-way street. The issue is not just about Jamaica learning from what the United Kingdom has to offer; the quality of education here (in Jamaica), even in the most challenging situations, is superb. What I have learned is whatever vocation or education a Jamaican decides to do, if they are given that first step and opportunity, they excel, and we recognise that excellence through world-standard qualification. I congratulate you for taking this history another 10 years forward,” he said.

    Between 2011 and 2019, City & Guilds awarded 96,000 certificates to Jamaican students in Mathematics and English, which has impacted the lives of 48,000 students.

    The organisation has also awarded 3,300 digital badges for its Customer Service qualification for young people pursuing careers in the global services sector.

    Founded more than 140 years ago, City & Guilds is one of the most widely recognised skills development businesses in the world.

    It operates in 80 countries and in a growing number of industry sectors, working closely with business leaders to assess and develop the most in-demand skills.