Mark Zuckerberg has joined the likes of Bill Gates, Omidyar Network, Pearson and IFC to invest into East Africa’s fastest growing private school chain Bridge International Academies, touted as the world’s largest chain of pre-primary and primary schools.
According to a report by The WSJ, Facebook Inc. co-founder Mr. Zuckerberg invested $10 million into the private chain school to help expand the reach of education to many.
Based in Nairobi, Bridge International Academy runs over 400 schools with over 126,000 students. The Academy has a smaller class size of around 30 pupils with students and teachers using latest technology to learn. The Barnes & Noble Nook tablet is used for the Academy’s Internet-based education model. Though Zuckerberg sees the investment as a move to bring inexpensive international education to millions of kids in emerging markets, some other people think he is using it to market his Facebook network for work and the social network to sign up billions of growing users.
Bridge International Academy aims to train 10 million children across Africa and last month opened seven schools in Uganda in its Africa expansion plans. The firm will launch 65 by year-end then launch in Nigeria towards the end of the year and India in 2016. This is something Facebook might want to be part of.
Lat year, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced its plans to invest $10 million (KES86,800,000) in equity to support the expansion of Bridge International Academies, a provider of high-quality primary and pre-primary education for children from poor families. UK’s development finance institution, CDC invested $6 million in equity alongside IFC.
The funding was to support its plans to expand to more countries in Africa and in India. Bridge already had 80,000 children on board. , the organization’s mission is to reach ten million over the next decade.
Founded in 2008, Bridge International Academies serves pupils from families who live on less than $2 per day per person. Bridge International Academies charge KES560 (just over $6) per month in fees.