McSchooling in Kenya

Great story in Wired about The Bridge International and its standardized cheap(ish) private schools in Kenya.

There are now 212 Bridge Academies in Kenya with around 50,000 total students.

Bridge’s CEO, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur named Jay Kimmelman, compares his company to Starbucks and McDonald’s — organizations that offer a consistent experience no matter where in the world you encounter them. Beyond its 212 branded academies in Kenya, Bridge has set its sights on Nigeria, Uganda, and India. The founders intend to be serving half a million children in 30 countries by 2015, and 10 million by 2025. “We’ve systematized every aspect of how you run a school,” Kimmelman says. “How you manage it. How you interact with parents. How you teach. How you check on school managers, and how you support them.” 

The “catch” is that this schooling costs $5 per pupil per month.

The article touts the good results these schools achieve, but there is no rigorous evaluation presented.

Why is it so impossible to imagine that cheap standardized private schooling becomes the dominant education model in Kenya, with the Government using vouchers to get to universal enrollment for those who $5 a month is too daunting a sum?

Please do read the whole article. It’s fascinating.