Society / Education
Friday, 10 Jun 2016 09:48 EATwmwaniki@kenyafreepress.com
KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion has called on the government to close a group of schools targeting slum dwellers, saying the chain was flouting quality standards of basic education for informal schools. “They are not out to help the children but are designed for profit,” Sossion said of Bridge International Academies, which runs low-cost primary schools in many slum areas in Nairobi and has been expanding rapidly in other poor communities in the Kenyan countryside.
Speaking at an education conference in Nairobi, Sossion, who is also the president of the international association of teachers trade unions, Education International, also asked Liberia’s Deputy Minister for Education Antony Nimely to close the schools in his own country.
Founded by Jay Kimmelman and Shannon May in 2007, Bridge International Academies comprises of over 400 private institutions in Kenya, Uganda, Liberia and Nigeria. It currently boasts of a student population of about 100,000 pupils. KNUT has previously said that the schools did not follow government guidelines for the establishment and location of schools.
The founders of Bridge Schools reject this claim, saying they are providing an essential service to underserved Kenyans, and parents have the choice whether to take their kids to Bridge Schools or not.
Winfred is a student of journalism studies at the Technical University of Kenya currently on internship at the Kenya Free Press, specialising in education matters.