‘Their data driven, tech-enabled system, currently serves more than 100,000 students in three countries, and we are continually looking for ways to improve and to expand access to high-quality education for all children’.
When it comes to educational innovation and technology, people are inclined to think about internet applications even robot learning, however, innovation and technology is not restricted to wealthy people. The 2015 World Innovation Summit for Education awarded 6 educational programs winners, all of them focus on improving education, providing advanced education resources for underprivileged people within global scale.
One of awarded programs, Bridge International Academies, claims that teachers in Kenya are absent from class as much as 47% of the time, teaching only 2 hours and 19 minutes a day, and 65% of teachers can’t pass exams based on the curriculum they teach. So that they developed this education program, not only provides high-quality pedagogy and teachers, also including intense monitoring and assessment for children. They have two kinds of teachers, one is calling ‘Master teacher’ who are responsible for ‘developing academic content, leveraging leading pedagogical theories in the form of textbooks, workbooks, practical learning tools, exams, and over 5,000 lesson plans per term out of Bridge International Academies headquarters.’ The other group of teachers are ‘Academy teachers’, who are ‘receiving this content through tablet computers, guaranteeing they are always prepared for every class and can concentrate on delivering lessons with expertise, making sure all pupils are engaged and progressing, and building relationships with families’. Besides, academic teachers and master teachers communicate everyday through computers to assess student’s performance, which provides data to indicate ‘Bridge International Academies have significant effect on learning, as compared to neighboring schools’.
Every family can only pay 2-12 dollars per month to receive high-quality education provided by Bridge International Academies. This has greatly increased access to high-quality education resources and teachers for children in target community. Financial support of Bridge International Academies come from both governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and private equity funds. The initial investment of Bridge International Academies is huge so that if they want to gain profit from this program, they need to expand their target market in a large scale as far as possible.
Business model of Bridge International Academies has succeeded, also this is a perfect exemplary in combination of business and social welfare. It has proved that obtaining corporation profit is not a conflict with public interest. Top social issues such as medical insurance, housing, financial security, environment, energy, education can also be the great potential market for business ventures. From the aspect of education, in recent years, the emergence of internet platforms like coursera, Khan Academy, 51 talk, merged education, innovation and technology, could be the future trend of education development.
WISE Initiative website: http://www.wise-qatar.org
Bridge International Academies website: http://www.bridgeinternationalacademies.com