Students out in force for Expo

Students and their parents were out
in force at the first Year 12 Expo, hosted by the Ministry of Education and
Department of Education Services.

The Expo was organised in order to
showcase the educational options of students who are preparing for the
2010/2011 mandatory Year 12 programme.

Excited about the turnout, Chief
Education Officer Shirley Wahler said that it was a milestone for the Cayman
Islands education system.

“It’s the beginning of a big
change. Students who are now in Year 11 moving into Year 12 will have opportunities
this September that are just unprecedented and we’re really excited to see them
taking the first step,” said Ms Wahler.

Explaining that students must start
submitting their applications for programme selections soon, she said that a
survey would also be conducted to determine the areas of highest demand.

However, successful admission to
programmes will depend heavily on external exam results. Consultations with
students and parents will follow before a final decision is made, explained
Mrs. Wahler.

The Ministry of Education’s Chief
Officer Mary Rodrigues noted that it was important that there was guidance and
counselling phase before entry to the programme.

“Students cannot just sign up for a
programme and tell us ‘this is what I want to do.’,” she noted.

Mrs. Rodrigues said the DES will
review each student’s choices and that a decision, based on what’s best for
each student, will be made. She said this will ensure that participating
students meet graduation requirements.

The mandatory Year 12 programme is
part of a major restructuring which will see the implementation of two
all-through high schools. These schools will replace the current middle and
high-school arrangements by September, 2010.

The programme will offer second
chances for students who wish to improve their CXC/GCSE grades. It also will
provide new learning opportunities such as technical and vocational programmes
that complement current UCCI certificate courses.

Depending on CXC/GCSE passes, students
also will have the option to pursue either GCE ‘A’ levels at the private
schools that offer this programme, or an associate’s degree at UCCI.

For more information on the
education transition, or mandatory Year 12 Programme, visit www.education.gov.ky
and click on Education Transformation Blog at the bottom right of the home
page.

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