Co-founder Shannon May addresses UK Members of Parliament

Dr Shannon May addressed a group of UK law makers today to highlight how Bridge International Academies innovative model contributes to the urgent global need for more high quality nurseries and primary schools.

The UK Parliament’s International Development Committee (IDC) Inquiry into Ensuring no one is left behind has heard from policy officials and education advocates across the world and Bridge’s testimony forms an essential part of their evidence gathering. The committee monitors the policies and spending of the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Shannon May said, “I’m so glad the UK Parliament is carefully looking into the global education crisis. Every child has the right to high quality education and the current status quo, in which hundreds of millions of children are stuck with either no education or a shockingly sub-standard one, is unacceptable. Today, 330 million children are in school but not learning. At Bridge, we are proud to be helping governments turn this situation around. Education is the very foundation of prosperity, so, we partner with local and national governments in Africa and India to help them improve and increase the provision of high quality pre-primary and primary education.

“As an innovative social enterprise we are dedicated to reaching marginalised and excluded children who ordinarily would not have access to a high quality nursery or primary school. And I’m very conscious that, globally, the majority of children excluded from education are girls. That’s why I’m pleased that Bridge has been able to focus on and achieve a nearly fifty percent balance of female pupils. Money can also be a barrier for some families, so we have ten percent of our children on full scholarships.”

Shannon May emphasised to the committee members the high quality, rich teaching in Bridge International Academies that is facilitated by cutting edge technology. Every Bridge teacher has a tablet that enables them to teach the national curriculum through world class lesson plans and guides. The academic results of Bridge pupils in Kenya have been independently verified as substantially better than the national average.

All Bridge International Academies run both nurseries and primary school classes. Today there are over 500 Bridge schools across Africa and India that have served 250,000 children.

The IDC consists of eleven backbench Members of Parliament. The Committee’s Chair is Stephen Twigg MP, Labour Member of Parliament for Liverpool, West Derby.

Notes to Editors

Shannon May’s oral evidence session can be viewed here.

The written evidence submitted by Bridge International Academies can be viewed here.

The UK Parliament International Development Committee website is available here.


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.