JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the Ministry is committed to driving a process whereby every youth in Jamaica will attain the equivalent of an associate degree by the end of grade 13.
He said that adequate opportunities are available for every student to remain in the education system for the additional two years.
“Some of the programmes we have to take them to grade 13 are the Career Advancement Programme (CAP), Alternative Pathway to Secondary Education; we have programmes under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) programme – National Youth Service (NYS), where we are merging that into the HEART/Trust NTA programme with the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL).”
“So…we don’t want to have our vulnerable youth being left behind. We’ve put all of the agencies together so it can catch everybody,” Minister Reid said.
He was speaking at the Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) Inc.’s scholarship awards luncheon held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday, (September 13).
The Education Minister noted that the qualification and certification attained at the end of grade 13 will enable more students to qualify for tertiary studies or join the workforce.
“We have 15 per cent of our workforce having full tertiary certification, but my ambition is education opportunity for all. It means that every youth will have that opportunity for self-actualisation… and we will have no one falling behind, adding to the army of unattached youth that creates all the kind of negative problems that we have in our society,” he said.
“Persons will be able to find quality employment earning high levels of income that will lead to the growth, development and prosperity of our country,” he added.
At the luncheon, six former wards of the State, who are pursuing degrees at the tertiary level, were awarded scholarships totalling US$22,500 by COJO, which is a diaspora charity based in New York.
They are Chantell Campbell, Shantanna Dixon, Aaron Rowe, Kareem Carr, Nickorta Samuels and Gold-Mae Bullock.
Minister Reid informed that the Government will be paying the cost for wards of the State and students on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) and to sit eight subjects in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
He assured the State wards that “once you are earnestly pursuing your educational objectives, we support you right through to university and assist you in transitioning into independent living to find a good job”.
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Honourable Ruel Reid