Placement of all students in full high schools next year, says Reid
According to Education Minister Ruel Reid, there will be 100 per cent placement of all students in full high schools next year.
During a visit to The Queen's School in St Andrew on Tuesday, Reid said that this will be made possible as a result of the expansion being undertaken at certain secondary schools.
"You have one per cent in the primary and junior high schools and 99 per cent in a full high school. As of next year, based on the programme of increasing the spaces and expanding the high schools, and converting junior high to high school, we'll have that at 100 per cent," the minister said.
Reid pointed out that the 100 per cent placement of students in full high schools "will coincide nicely with the end of the Grade Six Achievement Test".
"All our students, for the first time, will be getting a full high-school education from grade seven," he indicated.
Additionally, the minister informed that come next year, the high-school years will be extended from five to seven, which will give every student, "by the time they graduate, the equivalent of an associate degree".
He noted that such a move will result in the reduction of unattached youth or students being left behind.
STEM TO BE INCENTIVISED
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses of study are to be incentivised, stated the education minister.
"It is important for us to incentivise to get a work-ready (labour) force. A lot of students may want to pursue these courses, but there are financial challenges. So, we have to make sure there are no barriers to accessing the Students' Loan Bureau, if that is where they want to go, or there are particular persons we can offer scholarships," he said.
The ministry will be working in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation "to target areas dealing with engineering.
"We are very short on engineers that are very critical for the knowledge process outsourcing sector, but also for the massive developments that are taking place in manufacturing," he said.