DES Adjusts Dual Entry Programme
The Department of Education Services (DES) has announced an adjustment in the application process and entry requirements for the Dual Entry Programme opportunity provided by Government Secondary Schools.
Prior to the pandemic, eligibility to successfully enter the programme was mainly based on external examinations results. Due to the pandemic induced delay in the regular external examinations schedule, an alternative means in determining students’ eligibility has now been established.
Acting Director of Education Services, Tammy Banks-DaCosta added, “After initial consultation with the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture and Lands (MEYSAL), my team in conjunction with the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre (CIFEC), gained approval on a decision to adjust the application process for the Dual Entry Programme. The adjustment sees acceptance in the programme based on two factors; the prediction of examination grades provided by high schools and grades in subjects which were already obtained from previous examination sittings. We further consulted the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) and the private high schools offering A’Level programmes. It was acknowledged that these institutions would need to make decisions on their intake prior to the availability of final grades from the relevant external exams. We absolutely recognise that the disruptions to the school year, exams and indeed our very lives, have made for very challenging times; however, we are focused on overcoming each obstacle by ensuring we continue to meet our students’ needs. “
The Dual Entry Programme provides the opportunity for students to begin their tertiary education journey at the age of 16 and to improve their chances of higher education. Upon successful completion of Year 11, students have the opportunity to be dually enrolled in the Year 12 programme, while also pursuing one of two, further or higher education pathways. The two pathway options include the first year of an associate degree at UCCI or the first year of a sixth form advanced level programme.
After successful completion of the selected pathway choice, the student would then graduate with their high school diploma as well as having gained a one-year head start on their desired tertiary education pathway. Students who are not eligible for the Dual Entry Programme have the opportunity to retake or gain more subject passes at CIFEC or the Layman Scott High School Year 12 programme for Cayman Brac students.
“The fact that the Year 12 programme of our government secondary schools provides different pathways is an indication of our commitment to meet the unique needs of our students and provide them with every opportunity to excel. I am pleased in knowing that another cohort is receiving this unique opportunity despite the setbacks of this pandemic. The programme is proof of an effective and sustainable programme, and the adjustment is additional proof that we continue to adapt and innovate in prioritising the needs of our students. Whatever the challenge, no child in these Cayman Islands will be left behind,” assured the Minister for Education, Honourable Julianna O’Connor-Connolly.
Students approved for the Dual Entry Programme were contacted directly by CIFEC. If parents or guardians have any questions or wish to appeal the decision for acceptance into the Dual Entry Programme, they may contact the principal of the high school their child attended. Principals will forward the requests, along with their recommendations, to the Dual Entry Programme panel for review and consideration.