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American Educators Have Big Dreams for Schools in Africa



From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report.

American educators plan to launch 50 new schools in Kenya. The new schools of Bridge International Academies are set to open in January at the beginning of Kenya's school year. The goal of the private group is to educate children of families who make $2 a day or less. They opened their first school in Kenya in 2009. Since then, the number of schools has increased to 200.

Bridge officials, Shannon May, Jay Kimmelman and Phil Frei say they want to educate 10 million children around the world. On the Bridge International Academies website, the three friends say their effort began with a question. They asked, 'why there were no plans to educate all the world's poorest children?' They expect their early education business to make a profit even though it is designed for very poor areas. Their low-cost plan uses new technology to help teachers and to follow student progress. It also tracks operations in each school. They call this new system Academy-in-a-Box.

Every Bridge teacher uses a Nook-e-Reader. The electronic reader provides teachers with daily lessons. The school provides students with books that match the electronic lessons. The lessons have been developed by trained educators for all Bridge International Academies classes. The lessons are designed to meet the requirements of Kenya's national education plan. Bridge's large class sizes and teaching methods are not usual in the schools of developed countries. They are not considered the best for learning. Yet, supporters say the Bridge operation compares well with public education in Kenya. The average cost to attend a Bridge school is about $5 a month

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