PRESS RELEASE – Kenya

July 20, 2017

Implementing APBET will improve access to education for Kenyan children

It is estimated that there are two million children attending hundreds of thousands of APBET schools across Kenya. Bridge has always been designated as an APBET school by the Government.

Bridge engaged the Ministry of Education to pursue formal registration when it first launched its operations in 2009. The Ministry advised Bridge that its academies met all the criteria set by the Ministry of Education for non-formal schools; a reference for APBET schools at the time.

Bridge was further advised that the Ministry did not yet have a policy framework for registration of non- formal schools but that the policy would be finalized over the course of 2009 after which, Bridge would be formally registered as an APBET school. However, the Ministry ostensibly deferred its registration mandate until APBET guidelines were eventually released in March last year 2016.

In the interim Bridge followed Ministry advice that it could obtain support by being registered under the AG or the Ministry of gender and social services.

Since being assigned the identity of an APBET school, Bridge has attended multiple stakeholder engagement sessions with the Ministry for APBET schools and has been working with the Government on the design and implementation of the guidelines that were eventually published last Easter. In addition, it only operates in areas designated for establishment of APBET schools as per the guidelines.

Bridge is proud to teach the 8-4-4 Kenyan curriculum and there’s no greater testimony to this than the good KCPE results it continues to register every year. In 2015 Bridge pupils scored an average of 63% compared to the national average of 49%; in 2016 Bridge pupils scored 10% higher than the national average.

Bridge works closely with KICD and has submitted materials to KICD for vetting to confirm curriculum compliance. Furthermore since the launch and implementation of the new curriculum, Bridge Kinna Academy from Isiolo was selected to be a Government partner in the piloting of the new curriculum a clear demonstration that we work with government.

Bridge recently gave evidence to the Kenyan education select committee on the subject of APBET who were supportive of Bridge’s efforts to act as a Government partner on the delivery of education. Bridge continues to engage the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders.

A Bridge spokesperson said, “The Ministry of education has always made clear that Bridge falls under the APBET guidelines and that following their publication Bridge would be registered as an APBET school. The APBET guidelines represent a bold move by the government to regulate an industry subsector that serves millions of children from poor and marginalized backgrounds.

Since their release in March 2016, there have been some delay due to a disconnect between national and local government. The lack of sensitization by government on APBET implementation that has meant not a single school has been registered yet.”

Also speaking during an APBET event in June 2017, the Chair of the Education Committee Hon Sabina Chege said ““As the Education Committee, we support the children and we believe every child has potential. We want to nurture our children and if you come in to support the education sector in our country we will not discriminate against you,” she affirmed. “If you come in and I know you have already done that, to come and support our Kenyan education system we are open and free to work with you. We want to support you, we want the best for our children.”

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors

Spokespeople, teachers and parents are available for interviews

Our KCPE Press release is available on this link

Read an in depth information on the Government APBET regulations here

Ministry correspondence outling Bridge’s designation as an APBET school can be found 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.