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Education International Report: Bridge International Academies endangers students

Bridge International puts profits above students, public education in Uganda


WASHINGTON - October 06, 2016 -

A scathing new report, Schooling the Poor Profitably: The Innovations and Deprivations of Bridge International Academies in Uganda, commissioned by Education International and released on World Teachers' Day shines a spotlight on the abuses of the for-profit conglomerate Bridge International Academies (Bridge) in Uganda. To read the full report, please click here:

Among the incriminating findings:

  • Bridge delivers its Academy-in-a-box with pre-programmed curricula transferred to tablet e-readers teacher-computers that distribute knowledge and information to pupils and instruct teachers exactly what to say, what to do, what to teach, and how to teach it;
  • 80% to 90% of Bridge teachers are unlicensed;
  • Bridge schools are shamelessly referred to as chicken coops for kids;
  • Bridge schools fail to pass basic and minimum construction standards, endangering the safety and health of children
  • Due to the high cost of a Bridge education, the school dropout rate ranges from 10% to 60%;
  • Global educational conglomerate Pearson as well as the World Bank, U.S. and U.K. governments back Bridge with a $100 million.
  • Bridge plans to sell basic education services to 10 million fee-paying students in low-income communities throughout Africa and Asia by 2025.

National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García, a vice president of Education International, issued the following statement:

"This alarming report on the practices of Bridge International Academies should serve as a wakeup call to us all.

"Bridge has been undermining the right to quality public education for all students in Uganda. Bridges for-profit educational model is robbing students of a good education and depriving them of their natural curiosity to imagine and learn. This is morally wrong, and professionally reprehensible. We stand in solidarity with our education union sisters and brothers in Uganda and Education International. We join them to demand an end to this ill-advised profits-over-students' practice.

Education International's General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, called on the government of Uganda "to remain steadfast in demanding that Bridge operates in accordance with Ugandan legislative and regulatory requirements. Every child deserves to be taught by a qualified teacher delivering an engaging curriculum in safe schools conducive to good teaching and learning."

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The National Education Association is the nation's largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers. Learn more at www.nea.org.

CONTACT: Miguel A. Gonzalez
202-822-7823, mgonzalez@nea.org