The Education Ministry says starting this school year, it will begin the formal implementation of two additional years of high school for students who complete Grade 11 and want alternative opportunities alongside the traditional sixth form CAPE curriculum.

In a statement, the Education Ministry says the two sixth form Pathways Programmes are designed to ensure that all Jamaican secondary students are able to access educational opportunities at Grades 12 and 13.

It says any student who completed Grade 11 in the 2020/2021 academic year and is not enrolled for the traditional CAPE curriculum or courses at the tertiary level, can gain admission to one of the programmes.

According to the Ministry, only about 35-percent of the 40-thousand students who complete Grade 11 transition to the traditional CAPE sixth form programme or tertiary programmes.

It says among the reasons for what it calls this historically low take-up of sixth form has been the absence of alternative programmes alongside CAPE.

And the Ministry says another reason is the limitation on the physical capacity at secondary schools.

It’s why the Education Ministry says it has also started establishing partnerships with secondary schools and public and private tertiary institutions to increase the number of spaces available for students to access programmes at the Grades 12 and 13 levels.

It says in the near future, as the Ministry expands sixth form spaces at high schools, students will be able to seamlessly transition to a sixth form programme at the school they attend.