Gov’t to Add Two Years of Compulsory Education


The Government will be adding two years of compulsory education for students, who have not gained the required academic qualifications after five years of secondary schooling.
Education Minister, Andrew Holness, speaking at the opening of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Research Day on the Mona campus this morning (Jan. 24), said the move is to reduce the number of young persons who leave school without adequate qualifications.
The additional two years, he said, “wouldn’t really be secondary, it’s more what you will call a post secondary level”.
He explained that the sixth form level will remain intact and “those students, who matriculate, can go to sixth form or the community colleges or if their matriculation is high enough, they can go straight to university.”
“But if you did not matriculate, in other words, you have four or less subjects, you must continue two additional years up to age 18. The policy, which we would be bringing forward shortly, is that education is compulsory from zero to 18 years,” he stated.
According to Mr. Holness, the additional years of secondary school will be based on the knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSA) model. “For those two years, those kids will acquire knowledge, they will be able to continue their academic development, but they will also be given the opportunity at technical and vocational skills,” he outlined, noting that the move will also ensure that there is a “greater alignment between what the education sector is turning out and what the business sector requires.”
In the meantime, he said that amendments will be made to the Apprenticeship Act, so as to ensure that students “can go into work places on a voluntary basis or on a paid basis.”
UWI Research Day 2008, from Jan. 24-25, is being held under the theme: ‘UWI’s Caribbean Impact: Global Reach’ and will expose the public to the relevance of research work done by the institution.
Professor Gordon Shirley, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI, noted that this year’s Research Day is very special as it marks the 60th anniversary of the UWI.
He also noted that the event provides a forum to showcase the evidence that the UWI is a “first rate university producing research to advance and expand existing knowledge in Jamaica, the region and the wider world.”

JIS Social