Ministry likely to assist needy students taking vocational exams
THE Ministry of Education is exploring the possibility of diverting funds normally used to pay for students to sit their compulsory Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) subjects to assist needy students sitting vocational examinations.
Education Minister Ronald Thwaites told Region 3 school principals and board chairmen in Ocho Rios last Friday that the Government spends more that $20 million annually to pay for CSEC subjects for students who fail to turn up for the examinations.
Minister Thwaites said that this money could be used to defray the cost of students sitting vocational subjects, and said that he would be exploring the issue during discussions with stakeholders in the education sector.
"What I would like to do is to work it out so we don't waste that money... and that we spend it on helping other students, who want to take the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) or City and Guilds but might not be able to afford it," the minister said.
Over the past few years, the Government, in collaboration with National Commercial Bank, has been defraying the cost of four CSEC subjects for the nation's secondary school students. These subjects are mathematics, English language, a science subject and information technology.