JIS News

The National Youth Service (NYS) is under a corporate review, and a special two-year programme has been conceptualised to reduce remediation in the education system.
This was announced by Minister of Education, Honourable Andrew Holness, at a press conference, held at the Ministry, in Kingston, last week.
“The NYS has been a source of concern. The NYS was adjusted downwards by about $155 million. The question is being asked, how can we continue to deliver the same level of services with less money? The present programmes that are being executed by the NYS will continue and as much as possible, we will ensure that there is no dislocation of students who are already enrolled in programmes. It means that the organisation will have to become more efficient administratively, so the organisation is now under what I call a corporate review,” the Minister said.
Mr. Holness pointed out that the objective of the education system is to bring remediation down to zero. “When remediation is zero your education system is efficient, so the NYS, HEART Trust/NTA and the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) mandates remain the same, but the strategy for delivering the mandate will change. We are now going to focus on the last two years of school, to make sure that we don’t have this problem of 26,000 [students who have no certification] and we are going to create a two-year programme within schools,” he added.
The Minister noted that many of the new high and technical high schools have started the programme.
“Many of the newly upgraded high and technical schools have instituted the ‘Six Tech or Technical Sixth Form’, where they allow their students who have gone through CXC to come back to school and do other programmes, some of them certified by HEART, so they leave with a skill. It’s a programme that we intend to adopt (officially). It’s going to be a two-year programme, which will allow students to remain in schools and we bring the resources for training to them. This is the way in which we intend to use the schools after hours,” he explained.
In the meantime, Mr. Holness pointed out that the 26,000 students without certification, are critically at risk.
“I want Jamaica to understand that every year, of the 51,000 students who are in the age cohort, approximately 26,000 of them have no certification whatsoever, but 31,000 of them sat an examination. This is your critically at risk youth flowing out of the education system into the labour force and into your society. What are they going to do? How are they going to matriculate?” the Minister asked.
“The NYS’ maximum capacity treatment for unattached youth is 4,000, so the way in which we use the resources of the NYS is not the most efficient. We can’t continue to remediate,” he emphasised.
The two-year programme, which has not yet been formally named, will also have a work experience component.
“It’s a strategy of giving them knowledge in schools, skills through apprenticeship and attitudes, by virtue of studying and working. We will be saying more on the strategy in the coming weeks, as we tell the nation more about what we are doing with the NYS,” the Minister said.

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