Bridge International Academies opened its first community school in Kenya in 2009, with the aim of ensuring that every child in the world has access to a high-quality education. The network was founded in response to the fact that one in two children in the world do not currently have access to quality learning. Since that time, Bridge and its parent company (a social enterprise) are reaching over a million school-aged children a day across Africa and India and provided schooling and resources to introduce or improve education in some of the poorest-served areas of the world.
In East Africa, children in Bridge community schools have excelled in national exams since 2015, winning places at top national secondary schools. In Kenya, Bridge Alumni are now at universities and have also taken up places at top US colleges.
A 2015 white paper demonstrated that Bridge school pupils were achieving gains in mathematics and reading that were two to three times higher than those being achieved by their peers attending public schools.
The IFC and World Bank are strong backers of the social enterprise and have invested millions of dollars in the organisation to help it grow its ‘effective model’. The World Bank Group President has praised Bridge as an example of an organisation ‘using new technology to transform education outcomes.’
Bridge (Kenya/Nigeria/Uganda) has attracted more than $140 million in funding through social impact investors such as the World Bank’s IFC, helping to drive education transformation and improve outcomes in areas where there is inadequate state school provision, and support teachers in existing schools to provide a higher standard of education.
Bridge community schools provide students with a standardised education in line with the national curricula of each country it operates in. Teachers are provided with digital guides containing lesson plans, so each child receives the same education at the same time. A paper released by the social enterprise in 2015 showed that Bridge children demonstrate between two to three times the gains in the core disciplines of reading and mathematics compared to children attending public schools.
Bridge International Academies (Kenya/Nigeria/Uganda) has received IFC support to provide high-quality pre-primary and primary education to children from poor families.