According to Fayval Williams, Minister of Education, Youth, and Information, students are allowed to graduate from fifth form, but are encouraged to return for two more years of study under the Sixth-Form Pathways.

“You are allowed to have all your school-leaving ceremonies… do the speeches, take the pictures, do all of that, but we’re saying to you, once you are at home contemplating what you’re going to do, consider these pathways programmes at your school or at a tertiary institution that we have mapped to your school. Consider coming back to do one of those programmes,” Minister Williams said.

While addressing students at a Sixth-Form Pathway town hall at Excelsior High School in Kingston on Thursday, November 18, Minister Williams notes that the program, which will be implemented with the current school year of 2021/2022, is part of the Ministry’s seven-year high-school program.

It permits students who have completed grade 11 to enroll in the program and continue a two-year course of study that includes alternative learning options in addition to the standard sixth-form curriculum. Students will be able to choose one of three options for continuing their studies.

These are the Traditional pathways comprising the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), a certificate and or associate degree, or Council of Community College of Jamaica/University Council of Jamaica (CCCJ/UCJ)-accredited associate degree; Technical pathway – Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate/Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CSEC/CAPE), National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training/Caribbean Vocational Qualification (NCTVET/CVQ) Levels 2 or 3; or the General pathway – CSEC, City and Guilds, and NCTVET Level 2.

Mrs. Williams stated that the Ministry will assist pupils in choosing a career route. Noting that students will receive help in finding out what they want to do. She added that if during that period students find their footing, and want to redo some Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) subjects, that will be accommodated.

She stated unequivocally that the regular sixth-form or grades 12–13 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) program will not be altered.

“CAPE subjects will continue to be your subjects of choice if you choose to do CAPE. What we’re doing is creating additional opportunities for those students who have decided that the sixth-form CAPE programme is not the pathway that they would like to go on,” she said.

Within two years, students will be able to obtain numerous qualifications and college credits, giving them an advantage in their tertiary education. Those who do not wish to attend a tertiary institution will be prepared to enter various fields of work or get additional general or technical training with the certification they receive at the end of the Sixth-Form Pathways program.