Private institute offering new City and Guilds ‘route’ to better CSEC English, Math results

A graduating class at the JTW institute. Seated (centre) is institute Director Jocelyn Williams

With good grades in English Language and Mathematics increasingly being touted as a critical doorway to higher education and meaningful employment paths in Guyana,” the Georgetown-based JTW Management Institute has launched the City and Guilds of London and English and Mathematics certificates as what the Institute’s Director Jocelyn Williams is describing as a “second chance” for CSEC students and young school leavers.

Williams told Stabroek Business during an interview earlier this week that what the Institute is offering is City and Guilds-designed Mathematics & English Certificates “tailor made” for young school leavers, and those who drop out of school without the required CSEC passes in English and Mathematics. Apart from the opportunity that the course offers to what she calls “an option” for students looking ahead to the CSEC examination it also offers “a second chance” through a carefully designed regimen of tuition leading to the Certificates.

With other countries in the region also facing failure-related challenges in English and Mathematics at the CSEC level Williams disclosed that the City and Guilds programme has already been endorsed by the Ministry of Education in Jamaica which has concluded a contract with City and Guilds of London. According to Williams the qualification has already secured the support of the University Council of Jamaica, the Jamaica Ministry of Public Service and Jamaica Defence Force, and the Employers Federation in Jamaica.

Located in the Private Sector Commission Building on Waterloo Street, the JTW Institute is now registering for the January 2018 classes until December 10, 2017 and Williams says that the programme should be seen as an option for “the nation’s young people and those already in the workforce… to obtain foundational skills and qualifications in Mathematics and English.”

City and Guilds is promoting the Certificate programmes as a “flexible, relevant and highly personalized route to certification” as well as an opportunity for students to secure the skills needed “for their next steps in life, work and study.”

With good grades in English and Mathematics at the GCE and CSEC levels having long been touted as critical paths to both higher education and worthwhile jobs Williams says that the City and Guilds-designed programme is being offered through a Day and Evening three-stage teaching/learning programme. She explained that in the mathematics programme the curriculum is spread across basic areas that include measurement and standard units, common fractions and decimal fractions in Stage One to areas of the mathematics curriculum more closely related to the CSEC curriculum.

The English programme also presents a staged curriculum ranging from reading strategies and use of grammar, spelling and punctuation in Stage One of the programme to planning and organizing writing and writing for clear communication at the Stage Three level.

Williams says that the staged or phased nature of the programme provides students with an opportunity to properly prepare for the “challenges” of the CSEC examination in a phased manner.

A Georgetown Secondary School Deputy Head with whom Stabroek Business spoke said that while she was unaware of the City and Guilds programme being offered by the JTW Institute, “any initiative that can respond to the need to get our English and Mathematics grades up at the CSEC level should be taken seriously,” though she added that to bring such a programme on stream in state schools at this time may require “far more teaching resources than we have available in the system at this time.”

Both public and private sector entities have, for years, been calling for steps to be taken to seek to improve CSEC performances in English and Mathematics given the fact that these subject areas are widely regarded as critical not only to qualifying for university entry but also for performing effectively in several areas of work.

 

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