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Startup Funded by Mark Zuckerberg To Provide Private Education in Kenya

16 MAR 2015
Career Path : Education News

Education news

Bridge International Education is an excellent example of the immense power one idea can bring to an entire population. The startup, which began with co-founders Shannon Bay and Jay Kimmelman, began as a simple way to bring high-tech education to some of the world’s poorest children, and as the company states: “democratize the right to succeed”.

The school works as a low-tuition private school, which operates independently from free Kenyan state schools. Rather than teaching 2 hours a day like in government schools, teachers at Bridge International teach 8 hours a day, with an unexplained absenteeism rate of less than 1%. The cost for a parent to send their child to these schools is less than $2 a day.

Classes are standardized, and the curriculum is scripted so that each classroom receives the same level and quality of education. While the curriculum is based on government standards, there is a heavy focus on literacy, numeracy and critical thinking. Teachers teach and receives class lessons via a Nook tablet, which are standard in every Bridge classroom.

Bridge International Education also has had some pretty high-profile investors over the years, including Bill Gates, Pearson Education, International Finance Corporation and now Mark Zuckerberg. Teachers are equipped with Nook tablets, and the education is focused on using computers and the internet.

There are now more than 400 Bridge International Education schools in Kenya alone, providing education to approximately 100,000 students.

Source: Wall Street Journal