Bridge began in order to help solve a single, seemingly intractable problem; hundreds of millions of children worldwide who do not have access to schools that empower and inspire them. We help children in parts of the world where there is a shortage of learning, by boosting government schools and running complementary affordable schools. Since 2009, we have reached 500,000 children through hundreds of schools across Africa and India.
We believe every child has the right to education. So, we work in partnership with governments, communities, teachers and parents to improve or deliver high quality nurseries and primary schools in underserved areas.
We are data driven and evidence based and our model adapts to the needs of individual governments. We have re-engineered every part of the education system, from teacher training and support, to lesson delivery, construction, and financial administration; making our academies as effective and affordable as possible.
In countries such as Kenya, we run affordable schools; whereas in Liberia we are part of a public private partnership, and in Andhra Pradesh — eastern India — we have an infrastructure partnership. Our models hold us accountable to families and governments and we are flexible whenever we can serve more marginalised communities and improve learning outcomes for children.
The global learning crisis means that it’s essential our education model is sustainable and scalable, that’s why we aren’t set up as a non-profit. There are 263 million children and young people not in school, and 330 million in school but not learning. We do not believe that we are the solution but we do believe that we are part of it. Effectively tackling the learning crisis will take the commitment of a broad coalition including NGOs, governments, faith groups and the private sector.
Our model focuses on:
- Well-supported teachers: teachers are well-trained at our Teacher Training Institutes and supported 24/7 by their School Leader. They also benefit from ongoing training and continuous support both in and out of the classroom.
- World-class lessons: we always follow the curriculum of the countries in which we operate. Our lesson plans are developed through close collaboration between world leading academics, local experts and country-based education ministries. By leveraging the power of connected devices, we deliver professionally developed, up-to-the-minute lesson plans that provide every teacher with the core foundation needed for a successful learning experience in each subject, each day.
- Local context: we work closely with local governments to ensure we adhere to national and local standards.
- Academic rigour: we place a really strong focus on basic literacy, numeracy, and critical-thinking skills in early grades.
- Personalised instruction: our handheld, wireless ‘teacher guides’ record attendance – of pupils and teachers – assess scores, track lesson pacing and measure pupil comprehension. Our technology frees teachers from the time-intensive planning and administrative tasks creating more time for them to focus on what matters – teaching.
- Data and analytics: we use near real-time data, analytics and advanced technology to constantly make changes that improve pupil learning outcomes. Just like our pupils, we’re always learning.
- Bundled services: we streamline non-instructional management tasks such as payroll processing and expense management. This allows School Leaders to focus on the critical work needed at the school level – overseeing lessons, supporting teachers and building relationships with families and the local community.
- No cash: we handle cash electronically which helps parents and reduces corruption
Our model means we can, and have, invested large sums of money in research and development, and technology. We have made learning a science and are committed to continuing this rigorous development process so we can grow and expand to meet the needs of our families.