Al-Rayan International School (ARIS) in Ghana is the first school in Sub-Saharan Africa to offer all four International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes, with its most recent authorization of the IB Career-related Programme (CP).
Al-Rayan is one of two schools in Africa to offer the full IB continuum, which includes the three other IB programmes: The Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP). By offering the full IB continuum, ARIS has established a clear connection and pathway for its students moving through each of the IB programmes, helping to build upon and maintain the strong links and key skills developed in each stage of an IB education.
The school's latest offering, the CP, combines a quality academic foundation with real hands-on career experience. With its unique pedagogical approach, it prepares students to launch directly into a career or excel in further study. Through the programme, students study two or more courses from the DP, ensuring a rigorous academic grounding; a core, consisting of four components (service learning, personal and professional skills, language development and reflective project); and a career-related study, in this instance, offered in Business, Engineering, Hospitality Management (all with BTEC) and Art and Design with SCAD (Savanna College of Art and Design).
Dr Fatma Odaymat, Director of ARIS, said: "We are thrilled to be able to offer the CP and are so proud that we are now an IB continuum school. Through offering the CP we can fully meet the learning needs of all the students studying here at our school. Both the DP and CP offer unique styles of education for students; however, as the DP is academically-focused, it doesn't meet the needs of all of our students, especially those who are practical learners. The CP benefits our students who are looking to move into the world of work sooner rather than later. Before offering the CP, we may have had a group of students whose strengths, abilities and passions weren't fully being expressed, now they have that chance."
The authorization of the CP has also helped to strengthen the school's position within the local community, allowing them to create partnerships with local businesses in industries such as automotive engineering. Students studying the CP are given the opportunity to work within industries that interest and excite them, while gaining valuable workplace experience.
Haif Bannayan, Director of Global Outreach and Conferences at the IB, said: "It is really exciting that ARIS is now offering the CP as we know that it will provide lifelong benefits to the students who choose to enrol on the programme. Following the authorization, we can already see how the school is working with its community to implement the CP – this programme truly helps link local businesses of all sizes to schools, students and parents alike. Creating and maintaining these bonds resonate strongly with the IB ethos and I hope that we can continue to grow the CP offering across this vibrant continent, in which community culture plays such a huge role."
Commenting on the new continuum offering, Alpana Mukherjee, Head of Secondary and CP Coordinator, said: "The uniting thread and beauty of the IB are the frameworks of education; they are all focused on continuity and development. Children at a young age are curious about the world and can start to find links between all four programmes as they progress. That's why it is fundamental for us to be able to offer the full continuum, as it helps to give our students a clear direction from the start to the end of their time with us."