Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) has announced that the three faculty systems (Arts, Commerce, and Science) will be replaced with a five-stream system in senior secondary schools.

The new stream system will consist of the following five streams:

1. Science and technology
2. Language and literature
3. Mathematics and numeracy
4. Social and cultural studies
5. Economics, business, and entrepreneurship studies

Each stream will have three sets of subjects: core subjects, applied subjects, and everyday subjects.

The MBSSE says that the new system is necessary because the old system was not preparing students for the world of work. More than 70% of students who complete senior secondary school do not enter tertiary education, and those who do not go to university are often not prepared for broad occupational fields or general employment.

The new system is designed to address these shortcomings. It will provide students with a broader education that will prepare them for the world of work, cultivate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that lead to enlightened citizenship, and shift from memorizing to genuine learning.

All senior secondary schools in Sierra Leone must offer at least three streams, and they may offer up to five streams if they have the capacity to do so and meet the official criteria. Decisions on how many streams and which streams a school can offer must be based on staffing, facilities, equipment, and track-record of competence.

Each district in Sierra Leone should have all five streams in some form in their schools. Learners should not have to move outside a district to access a specialist stream or key subject. This may require special support to enable selected schools to offer streams or subjects that may not otherwise be available within the district.

The new stream system will be implemented gradually, starting in the 2023/2024 academic year. The MBSSE is working with schools and districts to support them in the transition to the new system.