Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams is endorsing the thrust of the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) to develop a framework for the quality assurance of micro-credentials in promoting lifelong learning.
Micro-credentials are mini qualifications that demonstrate skills, knowledge, and/or experience in a specific subject area or capability.
Addressing the virtual opening ceremony for the UCJ’s 17th Annual Quality Assurance in Higher Education Week, Minister Williams said that micro-credentials have been gaining momentum since 2020 because of the increased demand for shorter work-ready programmes.
She noted that, increasingly, micro-credentials are becoming the preferred choice for certification in the workplace and are being used as a flexible way of recognising and valuing learning obtained formally and informally.
She said that Jamaica is on par with the global higher-education community in developing and/or promoting the use of micro-credentials as flexible learning pathways for entering higher education, progressing through higher education and completing a qualification, retooling/reskilling for the workplace, pursuing work-based learning and training, and engaging in lifelong learning.
Minister Williams pointed out that the recent report on the Reform of Education in Jamaica 2021, prepared by the Education Transformation Commission, identified flexible learning pathways through micro-credentials as an urgent area for development.
The report cited several advantages of micro-credentials over traditional university programmes, including reduced number of courses, shorter completion time, increased affordability, more relevance to the learner’s career, and greater flexibility of learning options.