KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) says its programmes are compatible with the Ministry of Education and Youth's Sixth-Form Pathways.
Principal of Trench Town Polytechnic College and Chair of the CCCJ Events Management Committee, Dr Dosseth Edwards Watson, said her institution is in a community where they interact with students who have disengaged from the education system.
“You see the sixth-form programme that persons are quarreling about. Let me tell you, the community colleges have that down pat. You can register for a programme; you can remain as a student of your high school; but, get into a college. In some institutions, the fee is just minimal. The Government will take care of most of this expense of covering the cost of your study, so go and get into a community college today.” Edwards Watson said.
The Sixth-Form Pathways is part of the Education and Youth Ministry's implementation of a seven-year high-school programme. It allows for students who complete grade 11 to pursue a two-year course of study with alternative opportunities, alongside the traditional sixth-form curriculum.
Edwards Watson noted that the CCCJ offers several pathways for their sixth-form programme.
“There are a number of pathways that you can pursue on the sixth-form programme. We are big on pathway one B where you can pursue an associate degree with the community colleges, and so that opportunity exists. Just talk to a college near you,” she explained.
She said that there are great opportunities in the programme. “They [community colleges] will tell you how you can get in and you will be able to get in and be able to complete your programme within two years. By the time your colleagues are completing their A levels, you would have had an associate degree, and remember, you can enter the workforce with an associate degree, so do not delay the opportunities. The programmes, the quality of teaching and learning, the assessment are ISO standard,” Edwards Watson noted.
She said that the programmes are designed to ensure that students can get meaningful employment when they have completed their studies.
“We are workforce colleges; we do not have the luxury of training for unemployment. Once you get into a programme, it's industry-ready, because when we are developing our programmes, we're talking to those industry professionals; they come in and they tell us what's happening in those industries, and we have to adjust our curriculum to suit that need or those needs of the industry. You will not be lost when you enter the field; you will be exposed totally to what the industry is requiring,” she added.