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    Story Highlights

    • The Ministry of Education is reporting that the rebranded Career Advancement Programe (CAP) has seen notable improvements in students’ attitude and enrollment.
    • The programme has achieved improvements in the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ) examination results by 5 per cent over 2013; and an increase in the NVQ registration of students for continuing assessment from 17 per cent to over 87 per cent.
    • Under the revamped CAP programme, sixth form students who are pursuing the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), have the option to pursue both the academic and vocational pathways that will enable them to receive dual certification.

    The Ministry of Education is reporting that the rebranded Career Advancement Programe (CAP) has seen notable improvements in students’ attitude and enrollment.

    The programme has achieved improvements in the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ) examination results by 5 per cent over 2013; and an increase in the NVQ registration of students for continuing assessment from 17 per cent to over 87 per cent.

    For the current academic year the projection is for 6,000 students to participate in the programme, up by 2,000 over last year.

    Providing an update on the second chance initiative for students, Chief Education Officer, Dr. Grace McLean, says she is pleased with the “transformational” approach by the students, and the “integrated” placing of the second seekers by Principals and teachers.

    “We have seen almost a transformation of the general attitude and interest of our students, and of great importance, we are now seeing where our Principals and teachers are integrating those students who are now getting a second chance for their education into the regular school programme,” she noted, at a recent education symposium, held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston.

    “That’s a significant achievement. Despite the fact that they are getting a second chance, they are treated as our students in the secondary system at different times during the day, to advance their education,” Dr. McLean added.

    Under the revamped CAP programme, sixth form students who are pursuing the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), have the option to pursue both the academic and vocational pathways that will enable them to receive dual certification.

    The sixth form option includes a skill component based on course offerings within particular institutions. These are high schools or community colleges that have a registered and established sixth form programme. During the current academic year, some 6,000 students aged 16 to 18 years are slated to receive career related training in 53 institutions islandwide.

    Recently, the United States based Union Institute and University awarded two CAP students from the Haile Selassie High School, in St. Andrew, with scholarships worth over $3 million.

    The university had high praise for the initiative, which was first implemented in 2010, to cater for students between the age cohort 16-18, who did not succeed at the first go at the secondary level.

    “I am really grateful for it. Haile Selassie High School has helped me a lot,” says scholarship recipient, Adrian Stephenson, in an interview with JIS News.

    “Persons getting a second chance can do well. I know they can do well; if I am here, they can,” he says.

    Nyoka Taylor, who also received a scholarship, says students on the programme should at all times be “confident, believe in yourself, and when the opportunity comes knocking, you should take it.”

    Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, tells JIS News that the students are “very fortunate, and they are emblematic of the possibility of so many students who may not make it the first time, but for whom the State and other benefactors offer a second chance.”

    “This is an opportunity that we want to make available to everyone in Jamaica, so that no one will be left behind. It is left to all of us to combine for that end,” the Minister urges.

    He says the Ministry appreciates the work of teachers who volunteer to take on the task of dealing with those young people who had challenges with the formal system, but are now seeking to make a change.

    “If each of them can be lifted up, not looked down on as the failures of the system, then what a remarkable possibility and talent will emerge in their lives and what a change will take place in our land,” the Minister argues.

    Skill programmes offered under CAP include hospitality, tourism, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), construction, agriculture and health services.

    It also provides technical option for students who are so inclined. This option is open to students who attain at least one subject in the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC), or proficiency in the HEART Trust diagnostic examination, or its equivalent.

    They can then pursue Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses at levels one and two, in addition to core courses, including Mathematics and English.

     

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