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  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has emphasized that education is the “only legitimate means” to upward mobility in the society.
  • Rev. Thwaites said for the most part, people really want the opportunity to just get ahead in life, in a peaceful and progressive environment.
  • Against this background, he welcomed the development and launch of the High School Diploma Equivalency Programme.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has emphasized that education is the “only legitimate means” to upward mobility in the society.

Speaking at the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning’s (JFLL) launch of the High School Diploma Equivalency (HDSE), at its head office in Kingston, on July 24, Rev. Thwaites said for the most part, people really want the opportunity to just get ahead in life, in a peaceful and progressive environment.

“However, nothing is going to work in the development of Jamaica, unless we have cognitively adept, a socially appropriate, and a spiritually aware population,” he argued.

Against this background, he welcomed the development and launch of the High School Diploma Equivalency Programme.

The HDSE is a three-tiered general education programme for adult learners, 17 years and older, which will cater to persons who exited the formal secondary education system, without securing the necessary academic certification.

Noting that there are approximately 250,000 Jamaicans currently in need of remedial secondary education training, Rev. Thwaites underscored the need to sensitize them to the fact that there are available opportunities for all persons to acquire a good education.

The availability of this option, he argued, “places a responsibility on our young people and older people to recognize the value of a high school education, and to recognize that going to school, at whatever level, at whatever stage of your life, is vital to get ahead. It’s a matter of taking advantage of opportunities which are available,” the Minister said.

Pointing to the significant percentage of high school students graduating each year without attaining the requisite academic certification for post-secondary pursuits, Rev. Thwaites underscored the need to address this situation, citing the importance of the HDSE in this regard.

The HSDE is slated to be rolled out in two phases, beginning September 1. The initial pilot phase will be undertaken in six parishes – Kingston, St. Catherine, Manchester, Westmoreland, St. James and St. Thomas. Phase two will be rolled out in the remaining parishes, beginning April 2015.

Subjects to be taught at the basic, intermediate and proficiency levels include: English Language, Mathematics, Social Studies, Integrated Science, and Information Technology.