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  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, reports that the average pass rate for students from public schools, who sat English in the CSEC examinations in 2012, has increased by 10 percentage points to 62 per cent in 2015.
  • In addition, passes in Mathematics improved from 38 per cent to 65 per cent over the same period.
  • “Education makes a person trainable. …training makes you employable.

The Government’s increased investment in education continues to bear fruit, as evidenced by the steady improvement in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) passes over the last three years.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, reports that the average pass rate for students from public schools, who sat English in the CSEC examinations in 2012, has increased by 10 percentage points to 62 per cent in 2015.

In addition, passes in Mathematics improved from 38 per cent to 65 per cent over the same period.

Rev. Thwaites was addressing the Mount Alvernia High School prize-giving at the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Montego Bay, St. James, on Thursday (October 29).

He said the Ministry has also provided more options for students to sit external examinations at the end of Grade 11 by paying the fees for 10,000 students to sit English and Mathematics in the City and Guilds examinations last year.

The results were commendable, with 71 per cent of the students passing Mathematics and 60 per cent passing English.

“The performance was even better among students on the Career Advancement Programme (CAP), who wrote the City and Guilds examination, with an 84 per cent pass rate for Maths and 78 per cent in English,” the Minister pointed out.

“Overall, students are performing creditably, but there is still need for improved educational outcomes across the system,” he said.

He praised Mount Alvernia High for being among the top 10 high schools in the country, with passes in CSEC and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) averaging in the 80s and above, and 100 per cent pass rate in several science subjects.

He called for more schools to emulate the all-girl institution, not only in terms of academic performance, but also in the area of student behaviour.

The Education Minister told the graduates that they were fortunate to be living in a time where there is so much access to quality education, urging them to make good use of all the opportunities that are available.

“There is nothing that a Government, a church, a school, a community can give to you that is better than the opportunity of getting a good education,” he noted.

“If I give $100,000…$1 million to each of you today…it would finish at some point…in some cases, rather quickly. However, if I give you the opportunity of a good education that is something you will have for life…that is something you can use to make something of yourself,” he said.

“Education makes a person trainable. …training makes you employable.  Employment makes you productive…productivity makes you prosperous. Education is the most reliable vehicle to lift oneself out of poverty and into prosperity,” he added.

The annual education budget is $80 billion with 17 per cent of the amount allocated to tertiary education.  In excess of $4 billion was spent on loans and grants to tertiary students last year.