Caribbean countries are moving towards implementing an additional year to their high school system, Minister for Education and Cultre, Hon. Myron Walwyn announced.
During the licensure ceremony on 24 May, Hon. Walwyn reminded that Government added an extra year or Grade 12 to public high schools. He also noted that other countries in the region, especially Jamaica are moving towards a similar implementation,
“We are not alone in recognising the need to change our system to ensure that students are receiving the quality of education that they need…Jamaica is now on the same path of introducing another year for similar reasons.”
Hon. Walwyn explained that Jamaica acknowledges the fact that students are leaving school at earlier age than their international counterparts, and this putting them at disadvantage: “They too have recognised that their students are leaving school at a very young age and are not adequately prepared for the tertiary landscape based on the results they have seen.”
“They also recognise that they fall short of one year when compared to the United States and other systems and when students apply to schools in those countries it often means repeating a year of High School before being able to move forward.”
The Education Minister pointed out that the BVI and Jamaica are not the only countries moving forward with the additional school year initiative. In fact, Hon. Walwyn stated that the extra year is being considered throughout the region: “We are not alone with Jamaica in this venture as other islands are beginning the discussion, realising that we owe it to our students to have them adequately prepared with all the internal and external examinations which they sit in preparation for university level education and the world of work.”
The extra year is expected to allow 10th Grade students to start O Level subjects and 12th Grade students to start A Level (CXC) subjects. Additionally, the students will have the opportunity to take CAPE (A Level) Subjects to get an early start towards post-secondary qualification.