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Seven-year secondary school programme a game changer — Grace McLean

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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ST JAMES, Jamaica — Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr Grace McLean, says the introduction of a full seven-year secondary school programme “is a serious game changer for education in Jamaica”.

She explained that the programme grants sixth-form students the opportunity to leave grade 13 with an associate degree and enables them to move into a tertiary institution to complete their bachelor's degree in another two years.

“What it means is that every single child, whether they are at the lowest level or the highest level, the kind of instruction that is being provided will allow them to be brought up to the required level, so that they can at least leave with an associate degree,” she noted.

McLean was addressing the National College for Education Leadership (NCEL)/National Council on Education (NCE) training workshop for principals and Board chairs held at the Melia Braco Village in Trelawny yesterday.

She noted that, traditionally, secondary students who move into grades 12 and 13 are required to do the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) and earn four units for each of the two respective grades.

She said that the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) is reconfiguring the units at grades 12 and 13 to enable students to attain at least 60 credits as specified by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) in order to earn that associate degree.

“So, that is a decision that has been taken and developed by the Caribbean Examinations Council. So all students that are doing CAPE can now have the opportunity to leave with an associate degree, which is two years of college education,” Dr McLean stressed. ,p> The NCE/NCEL training programme was designed to equip principals and Board chairs with the skills needed to effectively influence and guide the strategic direction of their respective schools; increase awareness of the legal and regulatory framework governing public educational institutions; and empower school Boards to effectively interrogate and navigate the various issues.

—JIS


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