JIS News

MONTEGO BAY: Some 10 to 15 schools are to be taken off shifts this year, as the Ministry of Education looks to eliminate the system being used by some 200 institutions to accommodate their large populations.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, who made the announcement as he addressed an Education Summit at the University of the West Indies’ (UWI) Western Jamaica campus in St. James on Friday, June 7, said that the aim is to “do progressively more year after year.”

He informed that some 90,000 new secondary school places are needed and the Ministry is looking at ways to satisfy the needs including forging partnerships.

He issued an appeal for anyone with knowledge of any available space “which can be transformed into a school come and tell me because we are going to have to use it”.

Meanwhile, as the Ministry focuses on providing education and training to meet workforce needs, Rev. Thwaites informed that the HEART Trust/NTA has been asked to upgrade the technical and vocational facilities in the high schools, so that they can offer certified training in those areas.

He stated that by 2016, all high school graduates must be qualified either academically or with at least one marketable skill.

“By 2016, we expect that there is going to be no more issue of a person attending a high school and at the end of the day, coming out with a certificate of attendance, and a picture in your cap and gown meaning nothing,” Rev. Thwaites stated.

“You must take an examination, which will be a combination of CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) or CVQ(Caribbean Vocational Qualification), whatever combination suits your aptitude, and you must come out with at least one marketable skill, so that you can apply for work or you can go on to other advanced technical training,” he stated.

Contact: Bryan Miller