Bridge International Academies

Bridge International Academies, Jul 15, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This appears to be a prospectus (11 page PDF) for Bridge International Academies, a global education company specializing in offering low-cost learning to impoverished children. It operates in Kenya ("total of 359 academies and over 100,000 pupils!") and Uganda with plans to expand into Nigeria and India. It is not without its critics, including Graham-Brown Martin: "We wouldn’t accept a healthcare system where 'Big Pharma' also owned the hospitals and employed all the doctors but that’s exactly the kind of closed loop system that’s happening with 'Big Edu'." The model is essentially based on 'scripted schooling', "asystem in which every step of the learning process is remotely dictated." Public investment in the agency has been criticized. "'Aid is being used as a tool to convince, cajole and compel the majority of the world to undertake policies which help big business, but which undermine public services emerging or thriving,' Nick Dearden, director of Global Justice Now, said in criticism of the World Bank’s $10m investment in Bridge."

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