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Pioneering Education in Kenya

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Lindsay Stradley (MBA 2011) spent her internship months during Summer 2010 working at Bridge International Academies in Nairobi, Kenya. This is her story from the field.

Bridge is a for-profit social enterprise that’s building low-cost (i.e., $4/month) private primary schools in the slums. The first school opened in January of 2009, a second in May of that year, and then two more waves in January and May of this past year so that they now have 10 schools across Nairobi.

In Kenya, people are accustomed to paying for education. The upper and middle classes pay premium prices for elite education. Even with the recent expansion of “free” government schools primarily for the lower class, parents pay for uniforms, exam fees, and other miscellaneous expenses like “motivation fees” for teachers – all of which adds up to a very significant portion of a poor family’s income despite the declining quality and ballooning student-teacher ratios of most government schools.

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