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The Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), in partnership with the National Council on Technical, Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET), has launched its High School Equivalency Programme (HISEP).
This move is to help to arrest the problem, where about 70 per cent of Jamaica’s workforce or an estimated 700,000 people lack the basic requirements for the workplace.
Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on June 4, Executive Director of the JFLL, Edward Shakes, explained that some members of the workforce simply lack credentials – a high school diploma or CXC passes.
The HISEP is designed to provide school leavers, drop-outs and those without a formal secondary school education with a high school education and a diploma, which is globally recognized as the baseline entry to the world of work.
This diploma is equivalent to five core subjects at the secondary school, Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) level or the General Education Diploma commonly called the GED in the United States. Applicants should be 18 years and over and should fall into one of the following categories:
. Those who did not complete secondary level education. Those who completed secondary school but who have no formal certification or. Those who completed secondary level education but have inadequate certification.
The HISEP covers core subject areas of language and communication, literature and arts, mathematics, science and technology, and society and citizenship. A diploma certifies that the student has completed the competency requirements and has passed examinations in all five subject areas. The programme is being delivered by the JFLL, on a curriculum developed by the NCTVET, the agency which is also responsible for certification. The diploma may be completed over three years or less.
Mr. Shakes pointed out that students could either work in a group setting, or by themselves at their own pace. The HISEP includes an introductory course in computer studies, a self-instructional package and supporting material.
The HISEP provides graduates with nationally recognized qualifications; equip them for entry into other training programmes and tertiary institutions, as well as, enable them to negotiate better compensation packages at work. The first batch of learners will graduate in 2009.
For further information, persons can contact the HISEP Secretariat, Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning, 47b South Camp Road, Kingston 4, telephone 938-1737 or 928-5181-6 or visit their website at: http://hisep.edu.jm or http://www.jfll.org.jm .

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