Jamaica News: State Funding for Students up to 18 years – The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information under its K- 13 strategy will be providing funding for students at the Secondary level to complete seven years of schooling and to exit with an associate degree. This is being made possible through the:
A. FULL ESTABLISHMENT OF SEVEN-YEAR HIGH SCHOOLS As of September 2018, the Ministry has moved towards providing seven years of schooling at the secondary level. This is being made possible through the full implementation of the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) in all secondary schools with expanded capacity in Community Colleges, Teachers Colleges, Universities and other Private institutions. The Ministry will also provide greater support to the traditional sixth form programmes that currently operate in some schools. Through the CAP a total of 20,000 more students will be enrolled at the grade 12 and 13 levels. At the grade 12 and 13 level students will pursue an associate degree which will allow them to have a head start in moving towards their bachelor’s degree.
B. ASSOCIATE DEGREES Effective September 2018, the grades 12 and 13 programmes has been so structured, so our students can leave with an associate degree. These degrees will include the CAPE, City and Guilds Engineering as well as the occupational associate degrees which are available in 16 subject areas. This means that each student will exit grade 13 with an associate degree and therefore can now move into the tertiary sector to do two additional years to complete their full degree programmes. Under the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), the College Credit Programme on High Schools Campuses is being implemented. This is to build capacity and partnerships within the secondary schools as the students prepare to move on to the tertiary
institutions. The Associate degree provides an added opportunity for the students to leave the
There is approximately 40,000 students who complete the secondary level each year. Currently
through the CAP and the Traditional Sixth form close to 35 thousand students are able to access
a space in the 201 institutions that offer the two additional years at secondary.
Programmes being offered include those in CSEC, CAPE, NVQJ and City and Guilds. These are
in the sectors who that are in demand including: Logistics, engineering, hospitality and global
Over 1.5 billion is available for funding the additional two years at secondary. It is expected that
over the next three period through partnership the entire cohort of forty thousand will be
guaranteed a space and support for the completion of the programmes. Funding including
payment of course fees, provision of resources as well as payment of examination fees.
The National School Leaving Certificate (NSLC) is intended to give schools the means of
documenting the growth and development of learners’ personal qualities over the duration of
their years in high school. It will be complementary to all exit examinations, and the two of
these together will offer employers a more balanced picture of the qualities graduates possess
when they leave secondary school at the end of Grade 13.
The NSLC will be awarded after students have completed seven years at secondary school. This
will qualify students to move into tertiary institutions or into the world of work. An added
benefit is that students entering the tertiary system to pursue degrees will be able to access
exemptions through credits that will be obtained at the grade 13 level once they complete an
associate degree and will only need two additional years to complete their bachelor’s degree.
The NSLC will now become the general exit certification for students leaving the secondary
level. No longer will the students require five subjects to leave the secondary level. While exit
examinations will still be done the documented grades and behavioural information captured on
the certificated and rated based on standard will provide the students with the qualification to
move to the next level. The NSLC will become the national minimum standard at the grade 13
level. Students will be encouraged to complete various professional certification (stackable
credentials) leading up to an associate degree. This will allow for greater access into the world of
work and tertiary institutions.
All students will be encouraged to complete seven years at the secondary level. For those who
may need to exit after five years, their level of attainment will be assessed and a transcript at any
level of the secondary system will be provided. The National Certificate at the grade 13 level
will be the minimum standard to exit the secondary level. It must be noted that students will
continue to be encouraged to achieve, the qualification they attain however should be dependent
on the pathway they are pursuing. All Tertiary level students will be encouraged to utilize the
National Qualification Framework (NQF) to determine equivalencies for students to move into
their tertiary institutions. The NQF will also be critical for use by employers to determine the
level at which students can be employed as they enter the world of work.