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  • Implementation of the High School Diploma Equivalency Programme (HSDEP) has begun under the direction of the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL).
  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, made the announcement during the sitting of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, January 27.
  • Rev. Thwaites noted that the HSDEP will become the core business of the JFLL, as the organization pursues its mandate.

Implementation of the High School Diploma Equivalency Programme (HSDEP) has begun under the direction of the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL).

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, made the announcement during the sitting of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, January 27.

Rev. Thwaites noted that the HSDEP will become the core business of the JFLL, as the organization pursues its mandate.

Currently, the programme has an enrolment of 3,824, with recruitment activities underway to increase this number to 7,500 in 2015/2016.

“The present enrolment level represents the number accommodated in JFLL’s existing 28 centres. A partnership with the Jamaica Library Service’s network for the sharing of facilities and technology is nearing completion. This, along with the use of schools, Church halls and community centres, will allow for the doubling of opportunities this year and increases thereafter,” Rev. Thwaites said.

He added that it is expected that by 2018,  20 per cent of the programme will be delivered by Churches and Faith-based Organisations; 40 per cent to be delivered by schools islandwide; 40 per cent to be delivered by its adult education centres and the remainder made up of civic, social, corporate and other partnerships to deliver the HSDEP.

“Currently, there are 129 adult facilitators deployed across the JFLL learning network. Sixty-five per cent are qualified; however, a very limited number are trained in the specialization areas needed to provide relevant, appropriate instruction and address learning deficits experienced by adults,” the  Minister said.

“As such  the JFLL, in collaboration with teacher training institutions and the Ministry of Education, will be embarking on teacher recruitment and upgrade initiatives to engage teachers with the requisite knowledge and skills, for example, in literacy development, reading and adult education. The teacher recruitment and upgrade drive will commence in March 2015 and will seek to deploy an additional 300 teachers across the JFLL learning network and Special Projects by 2018,” he added.

The HSDEP provides a second chance and an alternative pathway to a general education programme for adult learners aged 17 and older.

The programme is a direct response to the growing demand for education and skills training for the adult population. It is expected to improve the outcomes of the adult learner by forming the foundation for the acquisition of skills needed to make them marketable, both locally and internationally.

Meanwhile, Rev. Thwaites said that one of the benefits of acquiring the HSDEP is that the credential has international recognition.

“To this end, the JFLL’s certification will be accepted by the City Adult Learning Centre, Ontario, Canada and the Office of Adult and Continuing Education – the largest provider of adult education in the United States of America (USA),” he noted.

The HSDEP has a duration of 40 weeks and is comprised of 11 modules offered over three distinct levels – Basic, Intermediate and Proficiency.

It is aligned to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate so as to give local and international currency to the high school equivalency programme.

A customized version of the HSDEP curriculum will be offered to learners in the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) General Stream.

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