Why Matiang’i has problems with Bill Gates sponsored Bridge International Academies

There is a row brewing between the Ministry of Education headed by Fred Matiang’i, the World Bank and the Bridge International Academies. Bridge International Academies is a group of schools that operate largely in slum areas and are largely sponsored by Bill Gates Foundation and have a student population of about 100,000.

A report by Business Daily Africa notes that the row pitting the Bridge International Academies and World Bank on one side against Ministry of Education is likely to send the education of the 100,000 students to disarray – and the bone of contention is nothing other than the classification of the school.

According to Bridge International, they are rightly operating under the alternative provision for basic education and training (APBET) category, yet the Ministry of Education wants them to operate as fully fledged private schools. “We insist that that BIA has to comply as directed and not hide under the APHET guidelines. The County Education boards are able to decide which schools fall under APBET and which are basically private. The BIA concept falls under private category,” said Pius Mutisya, Director of Quality Assurance and Standards in the Ministry of Education, in a letter copied to Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

Mr. Mutisya also explained that the curriculum being taught by the Bridge International Academies have not been approved, despite the fact that Bridge International Academies have been operating in the country for the last 10 years. “The first country that Bridge began operating in was Kenya. In 2007 it began partnering with government, communities, teachers and parents to help improve education across Kenya”, states the Kenyan chapter of Bridge International Academies its website.

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For the Ministry of Education to raise eyebrows with the operations and the curriculum of Bridge International Academies 10 years  later simply reveals how the Ministry has been asleep in as far as regulating private schools is concerned – or there could be more than meets the eye.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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