The key to Bridge International Academies’ success lies in our vertically-integrated system. Through it, we have re-engineered the entire lifecycle of basic education, leveraging data, technology, and scale.
No small-scale, stand-alone operator can singlehandedly make the massive investments required to deliver quality education at a price point accessible to families living on $2 a day per person or less. The amount of money required to develop world class teacher guideline, rigorous training systems, technology to improve and automate core functions, and assessments and research to complete the feedback loop is profound. Such investments need to be amortized over a sufficiently large number of pupils and would come with astoundingly high risks. Prior to Bridge International Academies, no one had put together a viable business model that demonstrated that educating the world’s largest market was possible.
Bridge International Academies was founded from day one on the premise of this massive market opportunity, knowing that to achieve success, we would need to achieve a scale never before seen in education, and at a speed that makes most people dizzy. From the beginning, we invested large sums of capital in research, development, technology, and curriculum before even the first pupil was admitted. It’s imperative to continue this rigorous development process until the highest levels of academic performance and operational effectiveness are achieved so that the 1st, 100th and 1000th pupils receive the same level of education as the 100,000th and the 1,000,000th.
Using technology and data, Bridge drives enormous efficiencies both in terms of the overhead costs required to run an academy and in terms of increasing the quality of the output. For example, at the academy level, a Bridge International Academy has only one employee involved in management – the Academy Manager. The vast majority of non-instructional activities that an Academy Manager would normally have to deal with (billing, payments, expense management, payroll processing, prospective addmissions, and more) are all automated and centralized through a combination of our Academy Manager’s smartphone application and our Teachers’ tablet application, all interconnected to a custom backend ERP. This systemization frees our Academy Manager to focus on the critical work that must be executed locally – overseeing classroom instruction and building and managing relationships with parents and the local community.
On the instructional side, Bridge invests employs world leaders in education to develop comprehensive teacher guidelines and training programs. Again, because of our highly efficient delivery mechanism (marrying talented individuals from each community with technology, scripted instruction, rigorous training, and data-driven oversight), Bridge is able to bring some of the world’s greatest instruction and pedagogical thinking into every classroom in every village and slum in the world.