Education System in Jamaica
Jamaica is an island country, located in the Caribbean Sea, it comprises of the third largest island in the Great Antilles. Jamaica is the fifth largest country situated in the Caribbean. It experiences a tropical climate with hot and humid weather, while the higher inland regions experience a temperate climate.
Education in Jamaica is free of cost from early childhood to the secondary level. The country also provides various opportunities for students who cannot afford a regular education. Thus, the government of Jamaica has made several provisions for all the population of the country.
Early childhood education in Jamaica is offered for children in the age group of 1-6 years. There are both government approved and privately owned schools to prepare small children for formal education. Children join primary school at the age of 5. Duration of primary schooling is 6 years i.e. Class 1 to 6.
After completion of 6 years of primary education students write Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). The examination is held in March every year. Students are given five exams over a two-day period (two exams on one day and three exams on the other). Students are tested on:
- Social Studies (including Civics, Geography and History)
- Language Arts
- Communication Tasks
Social Studies, Language Arts, Mathematics and Science usually take the form of multiple choice whereas Communication Tasks usually requires students to write stories, letters, fill out forms, or make recommendations.
Secondary Education in Jamaica has two segments: Lower Secondary (Class 7 to 9) and Upper Secondary (Class 10 and 11).
Sixth form education is optional. After completion of Class 11 students can enroll for Grade 12 (Lower) and Grade 13 (Upper). This is advanced post secondary program, at the end of which students write the CAPE (Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Exams).
Territory Education in Jamaica is offered in both General as well as Technical and Vocational areas. Students can enroll for Diploma and Degree Programmes. Graduate programmes including graduate business programmes are also offered.