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Jamaica has a 6-3-2 formal education structure. Primary school has an official entry age of six and a duration of six grades. Secondary school is divided into two cycles: lower secondary consists of grades 7 - 9, and upper secondary consists of grades 10 - 11. In principle, primary school is compulsory and free. Students sit for the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) at the end of grade six. At the end of grade, students may take the Grade Nine Achievement Test (GNAT), the Jamaica School Certificate (JSC) examination, or the Junior High School Certificate (JHSC). At the end of grade 11, students may take the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination, Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination from the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), or General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level (O-Level). Following upper secondary education, an additional two years of education are available to eligible students to prepare them for GCE (General Certificate of Education) Advanced Level (A-Level) Examinations. The academic year begins in September and ends in August. It is divided into three semesters. (UNESCO IBE, World Data on Education. 7th Edition, 2010-2011. Revised 5/2010).
Among other data sources, unique EPDC data collections for Jamaica include administrative data from the Ministry of Education (2010), household survey data from MICS (2005), and indicators derived from UIS data.
For an overview of current education conditions in Jamaica, please view our education profiles.
Last updated: 10/2012
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