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The Minister of Education, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, in his quest to persuade Ghanaians to accept a shift system dabbed “double-track” system in second cycle institutions in Ghana had mentioned about five countries (including Kenya) as countries practising the system.
However, in Joy Fm’s interview with a Kenyan education practitioner, Stephen Karanja on Thursday, 26th July 2018, it became clear that the government, represented by the minister, had not been truthful to Ghanaians (at least in the case of Kenya).
According to Mr. Stephen Karanja, “the use of the term multi-track [ to describe the Kenyan educational system] is a bit confusing”. “what we are going through is not a multi-track calendar ….. in that format. What we are going through here is a change of our curriculum .. to have a multi-track choice of development, or students choices”.
According to Mr. Karanja, Kenya had hitherto had a curriculum design which did not allow students to choose their areas of interest, something similar to what pertains at the JHS system in Ghana. What Kenyans have started doing is what Ghana has been practising at the second cycle level for decades ( students choose from available options, ie Business, Science, Visual Arts, Home Economics etc.).
“….system produces one type of graduate and when we analyzed our manpower needs, we realized that there were some sectors of the economy that are not getting manpower because of our orientation in education. So the new curriculum that was drawn out at the beginning of the year, from grade 6, we allow students to move into either, science, art and humanities ….. The aim is to grow capacities in all areas of the economy”
“In Kenya, [when] we talk about multi-track, we referring to that change that students would have when they reach grade 6, …when they are moving into junior secondary, they will start entering into different tracks [different areas of study]”
Another change in the Kenyan educational system according to Mr. Karanja is reduction in duration for primary education from 8 years to 6 years. But none of these has led to students being in school at different periods.