Education Minister , Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, says the government will be rolling out a diploma programme early next year for persons, who did not finish high school.
He made the announcement yesterday (September 20), while addressing a special ceremony for over 100 persons, who provided services during the recent Jamaica 50 celebrations and cricket test match at Sabina Park. They were trained by Manpower and Maintenance Services Limited (MMS) in collaboration with Independence Park Limited (IPL).
“By the early part of next year (2013), we are going to be rolling out in Jamaica, a programme for high school diplomas for every one of you, who never got it in your time. (It is) a programme that is going to take you from where you are; if you are reading at sixth book, that’s fine, you can move from there. If you are reading at first book or you can’t read at all, it doesn’t matter, we start there,” the Education Minister said.
He explained that the programme will provide an opportunity for certification in Mathematics, English, science, civics and computer technology.
“Look out for that opportunity because if you take your time, whether it is 10 years or three years or one year to get your high school diploma… (It is) never too late. You have your opportunity,” he said.
The honourees, many of whom come from inner city communities, were trained over a period of three weeks in the areas of supervisory management and cleaning and sanitation techniques. They were recognised for their service and received certificates of participation.
The Minister commended the participants, noting that the training has “opened the door of opportunity, and you can walk in.”
“Most of you know how life can be hard and difficult. Most of you here, if your stories were told, can tell of struggle…here you are now, you are professionals as of today…. there are no grades in this thing. Stand up and be proud because you hold your certificate,” Rev. Thwaites said.
First Vice President of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation, Bernita Locke, who was the guest speaker, also encouraged the graduates to be proud of their accomplishment. She urged them to stay focused, and use the training to prepare for the job market.