PRESS RELEASE

December 14, 2016

Bridge Press Release Response on Allegations by KNUT &EI

Bridge Response to False Allegations by Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and Education International (EI)

Bridge received great KCPE news last week, for the second year in a row, our pupils soared on the KCPE. We thank Dr. Matiang’i and the entire MOE and KNEC for their leadership and integrity, and together with them, celebrate the bright future of Kenyan children.

  • Top score of 406 – 5 pupils scoring above 400 marks!  
  • More than 25 pupils scoring above 380 marks!  
  • More than 600 pupils scoring above 300 marks!  
  • Average of 292 marks for pupils studying at Bridge for at least five years with nearly 3/4 of them passing.
  • Average of 286 marks for pupils studying at Bridge for at least four years with nearly 3/4 of them passing.
  • Average of 275 marks for pupils studying at Bridge for at least three years with 67% of them passing.
  • Average of 264 marks for pupils studying at Bridge for at least two years with 59% of them passing.
  • 56 academies with 100% pass rate of pupils attending for at least two years!
  • 12 entire counties with 70% pass rate of pupils attending for at least two years!
  • The first two Bridge International Academies opened in Mukuru Kwa Njenga and
  • Mukuru Kwa Reuben in 2009 had a 100% pass rate of their pupils who studied there for at least two years.

On Monday, November 5th , perhaps in reaction to these great results, KNUT and Education International issued a report in which they made false allegations about Bridge International Academies. Saying something loudly and insistently, however, does not necessarily mean that it is true. Let’s face the facts!

  • The authors’ claim Bridge’s does not offer quality education and say our fantastic KCPE results are not due to the education our pupils receive. But the data above shows the longer a pupil has been educated at a Bridge academy, the higher that pupil’s KCPE score rises above the national average.
  • The report claims Bridge does not teach the 8-4-4 curriculum. In fact, we do. All teaching materials are shared with the KICD for review and approval. Our adherence to the 8-4-4 has resulted in multiple 400+ marks on KCPE for the second year in a row!
  • The report claims Bridge does not comply with government guidelines. In fact, Bridge was thankful when this year the Ministry of Education released the Alternative Provision of Basic Education and Training (APBET) regulations which requires that one third of teachers at each school have a minimum of P1 certification. We have been working diligently to comply. In Term 1 of 2017, 37% of all teachers in Bridge primary classes will be trained teachers who also have a minimum of P1 certification!
  • The report states that Bridge teachers are not adequately paid and “not professionally trained.” In fact, our teachers earn more than 90% of other teachers in similar low cost private schools in the same neighborhoods. Our teachers are paid on time, get paid during holidays, and have job security too. Our teachers are rigorously trained and the Bridge classroom is significantly more interactive than the rote learning seen in the average Kenyan classroom.
    The report claims that Bridge “schools are concentrated in (relatively) richer southern and eastern parts of Kenya.” On the contrary, our first schools were opened in the slums of Nairobi and have achieved 100% pass rates in KCPE! We also have schools in Daka Baricha, Garsen, Marsabit and across 44 counties of the country. Our services are here to compliment Government efforts and we only open schools where there is community demand for them!

EI wrote a similar report in Uganda, claiming it was “academic research”. The author of that report is now under investigation by his own university for conducting unethical research. This report, too, seems to have been written with the same malice and illegal practice without informed consent. Bridge management, the subject of the report, was never engaged directly or allowed the opportunity to provide data in response to concerns. As Dr. Matiang’i stated, the truth comes from consultation and engagement with facts in an objective way. Unfortunately, EI openly declared their lack of objectivity during their 7 th World Congress held in 2015 when they adopted a resolution against private education, specifically targeting Bridge.

At best, the report by KNUT and Education International is fraught with unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims; at worst, it is filled with lies driven by a self-interested agenda. That agenda is to shut down proven, high-performing schools in a play to protect the interests of a trade union. Despite claiming to act in the interests of children, EI continually puts children at grave risk, seeking to close schools and deny children’s rights to education.

Bridge will continue working with the government to ensure that the children of Kenya can open doors to a bright future. That is and remains our primary concern.

Read Bridge response to “Schooling the Poor Profitably: the innovations and deprivations of Bridge International Academies in Uganda’’ – HERE.

Read Bridge response to “Bridge vs. Reality” A study of Bridge International Academies for-profit schooling in Kenya, a report by: Education International and the Kenya National Union of Teachers – HERE.

[ENDS]

About Bridge

Bridge believes every child has the right to high quality education and works in partnership with governments, communities, parents and teachers to deliver education to over 100,000 children in underserved communities across Africa and Asia.

Bridge leverages in-depth teacher training and support, advanced lesson plans and wireless technology to provide pupils with a meaningful and life-changing education.

Globally, there is an education crisis. Around 263 million children and young people are not in school and the number of primary school aged children not in school is increasing. Bridge is committed to helping tackle this through a data driven, evidence based approach that delivers strong schools and a great education for all.