JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the 800 students who graduated from the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) on December 7 is testament to the Government’s commitment not to leave any child behind.
Senator Reid, who was speaking at the Edu-Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) conference at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Montego Bay, St. James on December 8, emphasised that 80 per cent of graduating students from now on should, by age 30, have the equivalent of an occupational degree or higher.
“That is the aspiration under our watch. The mantra from now on is that zero to age 30 are the learning years, while 30 to 60 are the earning years. Sixty and above will be the returning years,” he said.
The Minister noted that there is clear evidence that the CAP programme has rescued a lot of young people who, in the past, would have been turned out from schools without a future and with nowhere to go.
“I was truly moved at the graduation when I saw that vision of rescuing so many of our Jamaican students who otherwise would have had no hope materialized,” Senator Reid said.
The Minister said he is very proud that the problem with students not having anywhere to go after Grade nine is now a thing of the past, adding that the opportunity is now there for high levels of training and certification.
“What we don’t want is that population to continue to become the unattached…to create other social problems,” he argued.
Senator Reid pointed out that a part of the current strategy is that every youngster must remain in school, and continue in a culture of continuous education, training and certification up to at least age 30.
“We want as a nation, to value education and not to think of it as having some terminal date,” he said.
The Minister emphasized that for Jamaica to achieve the prosperity vision that it yearns for, it has to be predicated “on us providing that critical highly trained work force where we can attract that high level of investment.”
The CAP is an initiative of the Government, through the Ministry of Education, to respond to students who complete secondary level education without any formal certification and has not matriculated to post-secondary level education or work.
It is focused on providing opportunities for all learners to identify, understand, choose, and prepare for careers and occupations of their choices.
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, addresses Edu-TVET Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Montego Bay, on December 8.