CDC investee company Bridge International Academies has recently announced the opening of 56 new academies, bringing the low-cost school chain’s total to 359 academies. With over 100,000 pupils admitted, approximately one out of every 100 pre-primary and primary-aged children in Kenya now attends Bridge International Academies.
The Kenyan company, which opened its first academy in just 2009, brings high-quality education to families living below the international poverty line of US$2 a day per person; the average Bridge family lives on just US$1.60 a day per person. Since day one, Bridge has seen impressive results. Bridge pupils score an average of 35% higher on core reading skills and 19% higher in maths than their peers in neighbouring schools, based on USAID-designed exams administered by an independent monitoring and evaluation organisation. Meanwhile, economies of scale enable Bridge to deliver affordable education, with parents paying an average of just over US$6 a month.
“We are proud of our achievements to date, but eager to do more,” said Bridge International Academies Co-Founder and CEO, Jay Kimmelman. “There are still millions of children who are not getting the education they deserve. Every child is filled with so much potential. At Bridge, we want to give every child on earth the opportunity to fulfill that potential – and democratise their right to succeed.”
Bridge International Academies plans to reach an additional 150 communities in Kenya in 2015, in addition to expanding internationally to Uganda, Nigeria, and India so that more families living in poverty can benefit. Bridge, which currently offers three years of early childhood education and seven years of primary education (Classes 1-7) in Kenya, will add Class 8 in 2015, with Bridge pupils sitting the Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education for the first time in November 2015.