Call for students to finish at 18 years

Education officials are proposing to make it mandatory for students to attend school until they are 18.

Director of Education Reform Dr Idamay Denny said they were suggesting that the school-leaving age be increased from 16 to 18 to ensure more students benefit from the additional time.

“We are proposing that all children be allowed to continue school up to 18. We recognise the only children who are allowed to go to school that long are the ones who are taking Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE).

“Those are the ones whom we consider to be the most capable and they are given that opportunity but the ones who really need a leg up are not. We have children who want to do things other than CAPE and very often they have to go and look to see if they can do something at Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute for Technology or Barbados Community College, but they may want to continue their Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) in school. We are saying if children want to continue CVQs at the level of the school, then give them the opportunity,” Denny said. (TG)