Coronavirus making Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg richer


This United States TV video says about itself:

GOP [Republican party] Senators Sold Stock After Secret Coronavirus Briefing | All In | MSNBC

Senators Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler got a private briefing about the coming pandemic. Then they dumped stocks before the market tanked. Aired on 03/20/2020.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

For the time being, the coronavirus crisis brings financial benefits to the American software giant Microsoft [owned by Bill Gates]. In the past quarter, the corporation made a profit of nearly $ 11 billion, or 22 percent more than a year earlier.

Microsoft is mainly benefiting from the increased number of at-home workers. Eg, there was a much greater demand for products such as Teams and Skype, with which people can communicate.

Cloud services were also purchased more. “In a two-month period, there has been a digital transformation that normally takes two years,” said CEO Nadella in an explanation of the figures.

Facebook

Another tech corporation, Facebook [owned by Mark Zuckerberg], also seems to take advantage of the fact that many people are at home. The number of active users of the social network has risen to 2.6 billion. That is 10 percent more than last year.

Facebook sales and profits have also increased.

Bill Gates under investigation


This 18 April 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is under investigation. John Iadarola and Tim Schwab break it down on The Damage Report.

“Last fall, Netflix premiered a three-part documentary that promises viewers a rare look at the inner life of one of history’s most controversial businessmen. Over three hours, Inside Bill’s Brain shows us…”

Read more here.

Protest against Bill Gates’, Zuckerberg’s for-profit sub-standard African schools


This Education International video says about itself:

A message to Pearson

30 April 2018

Pearson has invested in fee-charging, for-profit schools in Africa operated by Bridge International Academies.

The operations of Bridge are controversial, to say the least.

Many Bridge schools use unqualified staff, unofficial curriculum in substandard facilities. Its fees can push families into further poverty.

Pearson claims to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aimed at ensuring all girls and boys complete quality free primary and secondary education.

Why, then, is Pearson supporting Bridge International Academies?

By Marcus Barnett in Britain:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

National Education Union to stage rallies against profiteer Pearson over exploitation of African and Asian schoolchildren

EDUCATION workers will protest this Friday against an education-for-profit magnate’s “exploitation” of the African and Asian continents.

Members of the National Education Union (NEU) will rally at Savoy Place in London against multinational assessment service Pearson, which is closely involved with Bridge — one of the world’s largest education-for-profit companies.

As a “low-fee” private schools provider, Bridge intends to extend its influence throughout Africa and Asia within the next decade, with a business plan that union campaigners claim is focused on maximising profit at the expense of educational quality.

Bridge because notorious last year when it took the Kenyan National Union of Teachers (KNUT) and its general secretary Wilson Sossion to court after they criticised the corporation.

In 2016, the company fabricated allegations against Curtis Riep, a Canadian investigative researcher working in Uganda, which led to his temporary arrest.

In addition to Pearson, trade unionists also highlight the fact that Bridge is supported by the World Bank, the British and US governments and billionaires Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

Standing side by side with African trade unionists, joint NEU general secretary Kevin Courtney said yesterday that his members support the right of all children to free, high-quality education.

He said: “Bridge exploits this right for profit and in the process delivers a sub-standard education that deepens inequality in the communities it ‘serves’.

“Pearson’s investment in this exploitative business model is wholly indefensible.”

GATES IS LATEST PLUTOCRAT TO SPEAK AGAINST WARREN Microsoft founder Bill Gates has joined the chorus of famous billionaires skeptical of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy, claiming it would leave him counting what’s left of his fortune. [HuffPost]

Bill Gates’ private school scandal in Liberia


This video says about itself:

Liberia’s education debate: Opposition to plans to outsource running of public schools

14 May 2016

In Liberia, a radical plan to outsource the running of public primary and nursery education has met fierce opposition. Currently Liberia has some of West Africa’s worst school results. The government says paying a private education provider could quickly turn things around. But some teachers unions are not convinced, as Katerina Vittozzi reports.

By James Tweedie:

Liberia: Private shack school scheme ‘overspent and unsustainable’

Friday 8th September 2017

A HIGHLY controversial pilot scheme in which 93 schools were outsourced to a private company in Liberia is over-spent and unsustainable, a leaked think tank report reveals.

Bridge International Academies (BIA), the private shack school outfit bankrolled by the world’s richest man Bill Gates, is spending more than 20 times the amount per pupil as originally stated.

The National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL) raised the alarm over the Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) scheme after a summary of the report Can Outsourcing Improve Liberia’s Schools? was leaked on Wednesday.

Although it found that student learning had increased by 60 per cent compared to state schools, NTAL President Mary Mulbah noted that the improvements had been achieved “on the back of increased funding ranging between 100 per cent to 2,000 per cent more than public schools.”

At the Bridge schools the national allowance of $50 US (£38) per pupil was doubled to $100 (£76) as a “realistic medium-term goal for public expenditure.”

But BIA spent up to $1052 (£800) per pupil — despite laying off 74 per cent of teachers.

“The programme has yet to demonstrate that it can work in average Liberian schools, with sustainable budgets and staffing levels, and without negative side effects on other schools,” the report concluded.

Global teaching union federation Education International said: “With its billionaire funders footing the bill, Bridge has gone to any length to try to convince the public that it has the answer to quality education.”

The Liberian government announced it was outsourcing scores of primary schools to BIA in January 2016.

Following protests over the apparent sweetheart deal, the scheme was opened up to rival bidders and 93 schools were tendered out to eight firms.

Education Minister George Werner pledged to review the results after one year before continuing the scheme. But earlier this year, just six months into the trial, he announced PSL would be expanded to 202 schools.

Ms Mulbah said: “The negative findings of this report may explain the minister’s rush to expand the privatisation programme.

“What is most disturbing is that in many instances the improved student outcomes were achieved by pushing out students from schools on the ‘trial’.

“In some cases this has resulted in children being left out of school.”

BIA’s network of 63 “lowfee” private schools in Uganda was shut down by the Education Ministry last year after it found they were not meeting basic educational or sanitary standards, putting pupils’ health at risk.

‘Bill Gates’ privatisation threatens Liberian education’


This video says about itself:

Profiting from the Poor: the case of Bridge International Academies in Kenya

8 November 2016

Pupils are not really learning and teachers are not really teaching at Bridge International Academies in Kenya. Still, many families sacrifice large sums of their budget, which go into the “low cost” education provided by this chain. But what lies behind the green walls of these schools? Should parents trust them, pupils put their future into their hands and international donors contribute to the success of a chain that is not up to standards when it comes to offering quality education for all? This video will be eye-opening for many.

Bridge runs more than 400 nurseries and primary schools across Africa. It started its expansion after opening its first school in a slum in 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, where it currently operates 359 academies throughout catering to 102,644 students with over 4255 academy staff.

Bridge is financially supported by the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and education conglomerate Pearson Ltd. It is also supported by the World Bank and DfID-UK.

Bridge’s business model, which includes fee charging schools run by unqualified teachers delivering a scripted standardised curriculum, has faced heavy criticism. The Ugandan branch of Bridge has recently come under scrutiny for offering an education well below the national standards, which prompted the order by the Ugandan Education Ministry to close the schools in October 2016. Also attracting significant criticism is the Liberian government’s announcement to outsource its primary schools to Bridge.

The company has plans to dramatically increase the scale and scope of its operations to deliver education services to over 10 million children across a dozen countries by 2025.

To find more about Bridge go here.

By James Tweedie:

Liberia: Teachers warn against school privatisation

Saturday 29th July 2017

Expanding ‘charter’ scheme will ‘lead to crisis’

EXPANDING primary school privatisation in Liberia will have “grave” consequences, a new report by teachers’ unions warns.

Global union federation Education International will release its scathing report into Education Minister George Werner’s Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) scheme in the capital Monrovia today.

PSL has already seen 93 primary and nursery schools outsourced to eight companies over the last year — including Bridge International Academies (BIA), the shack-school outfit bankrolled by world’s richest man Bill Gates.

Another 107 are set to be added this autumn, despite a string of failings in the first cohort of schools, exposed by the National Teachers Association of Liberia (NTAL).

Classes were hugely overcrowded and promised subsidised school dinners were never provided, leading to a high dropout rate.

In a recent article, NTAL president Mary Mulbah wrote that Liberia had been turned into a “battleground” over private education for the poor.

She said the conflict was between “those who see for-profit ‘charter’ schools as the solution to the problems that plague public education across the world, and those of us who point to under-investment and poor management as the true culprits.”

Teachers at one BIA school said they had been paying their NTAL dues but were threatened with the sack after they complained about low wages.

Mr Werner announced the PSL scheme last April. BIA was originally contracted to run all 93 schools, but it was reduced to 25 following protests over anti-corruption laws.

PSL was described as a “pilot” scheme to be independently reviewed before the start of the new school year.

But the Education International report, by the University of Wisconsin in the US, found a “striking lack of transparency and independent evidence in the development of the PSL project.

It “puts increased power in undemocratic, private institutions, that make decisions with little community input and accountability.”

BIA hit the headlines last year after Ugandan Education Minister Janet Museveni closed its chain of 63 schools for failing basic educational and sanitation standards, putting pupils’ health at risk.

The US-owned firm employs unqualified teachers to read scripted lessons off a tablet computer in tin-shack buildings.

BIA also operates in Kenya, with 100,000 pupils, Nigeria and India.

Its financial backers include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Ebay’s Pierre Omidyar, the Dutch Foreign Ministry and — formerly — Britain’s Department for International Development.

In 2011, in his characteristically crude and cynical manner, Rupert Murdoch spelled out the agenda that now underlies the provision of so-called “public education” in Australia: here.

‘Stop Bill Gates’ substandard private schools in Africa’


This video says about itself:

Profiting from the Poor: the case of Bridge International Academies in Kenya

8 November 2016

Pupils are not really learning and teachers are not really teaching at Bridge International Academies in Kenya. Still, many families sacrifice large sums of their budget, which go into the “low cost” education provided by this chain. But what lies behind the green walls of these schools? Should parents trust them, pupils put their future into their hands and international donors contribute to the success of a chain that is not up to standards when it comes to offering quality education for all? This video will be eye-opening for many.

Bridge runs more than 400 nurseries and primary schools across Africa. It started its expansion after opening its first school in a slum in 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, where it currently operates 359 academies throughout catering to 102,644 students with over 4255 academy staff.

Bridge is financially supported by the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and education conglomerate Pearson Ltd. It is also supported by the World Bank and DfID-UK.

Bridge’s business model, which includes fee charging schools run by unqualified teachers delivering a scripted standardised curriculum, has faced heavy criticism. The Ugandan branch of Bridge has recently come under scrutiny for offering an education well below the national standards, which prompted the order by the Ugandan Education Ministry to close the schools in October 2016. Also attracting significant criticism is the Liberian government’s announcement to outsource its primary schools to Bridge.

The company has plans to dramatically increase the scale and scope of its operations to deliver education services to over 10 million children across a dozen countries by 2025.

To find more about Bridge go here.

By James Tweedie:

Teachers stop funds for shack schools

Saturday 22nd April 2017

World Bank urged to burn its Bridges

TEACHERS urged the World Bank yesterday to stop funding a chain of private-sector tin shack schools across Africa.

Unions led by global federations Education International (EI) and Public Services International marched on the bank’s Washington headquarters to demand that it stop giving loans to Bridge International Academies (BIA).

Participants included the Uganda National Teachers’ Union and Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) — both at the forefront of the fight against BIA — along with Britain’s NUT and NASUWT teaching trade unions.

They delivered a letter to World Bank President Dr Jim Yong Kim calling on him to “stop investment in so-called low-fee private schools in general and specifically in Bridge International Academies.”

The letter said: “A highquality public education must be recognised as a public good, and that the provision of education is a primary responsibility of governments, not corporations and entrepreneurs.”

BIA — bankrolled by the world’s richest man, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, along with Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg and eBay’s Pierre Omidyar — aims to dominate education in Africa and India with its low-fee private schools.

If these billionaires are sincerely concerned about education for poor children, then why do they found for profit private schools instead of donating money to not for profit public schools?

But last year Uganda’s Education Ministry shut down all 68 of BIA’s schools in the country after inspectors found that 70 per cent of teachers were unqualified, the national curriculum was not being followed and toilet facilities were so squalid that they put pupils’ health at risk.

More recently, Kenya closed 10 BIA schools for failing to meet basic educational standards.

Untrained staff in overcrowded classrooms give lessons from a script on a tablet computer, and are paid far below the going rate.

The unions also pointed out that BIA’s “low-cost” model was still unaffordable for most families, with Kenyan parents spending between 44 per cent and 138 per cent of their household income to send three children to school.

BIA’s response to teaching unions’ attempts to maintain standards was to harass EI investigator Curtis Riep in Uganda and seek an injunction barring KNUT general secretary Wilson Sossion and other members from publicly criticising the company.

“The World Bank should bring all stakeholders together in a renewed effort to remove the financial and social barriers keeping the world’s children from reaching their full potential,” the letter concluded.

Dutch taxpayers paying for Bill Gates’ sordid African schools


This video says about itself:

Profiting from the Poor: the case of Bridge International Academies in Kenya

8 November 2016

Pupils are not really learning and teachers are not really teaching at Bridge International Academies in Kenya. Still, many families sacrifice large sums of their budget, which go into the “low cost” education provided by this chain. But what lies behind the green walls of these schools? Should parents trust them, pupils put their future into their hands and international donors contribute to the success of a chain that is not up to standards when it comes to offering quality education for all? This video will be eye-opening for many.

Bridge runs more than 400 nurseries and primary schools across Africa. It started its expansion after opening its first school in a slum in 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, where it currently operates 359 academies throughout catering to 102,644 students with over 4255 academy staff.

Bridge is financially supported by the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and education conglomerate Pearson Ltd. It is also supported by the World Bank and DfID-UK. Bridge’s business model, which includes fee charging schools run by unqualified teachers delivering a scripted standardised curriculum, has faced heavy criticism.

The Ugandan branch of Bridge has recently come under scrutiny for offering an education well below the national standards, which prompted the order by the Ugandan Education Ministry to close the schools in Ocotber 2016. Also attracting significant criticism is the Liberian Government’s announcement to outsource its primary schools to Bridge.

The company has plans to dramatically increase the scale and scope of its operations to deliver education services to over 10 million children across a dozen countries by 2025.

To find more about Bridge go here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Netherlands: MPs challenge funding of for profit shack schools

Thursday 16th February 2017

TWO MPs in the Netherlands have challenged Dutch state funding of private shack schools in Africa, global teaching union Education International (EI) reported on Tuesday.

Socialist Party MPs Harry Van Bommel and Jasper van Dijk have written to Foreign Trade and Development Minister Lilianne Ploumen about government funding of Bridge International Academies (BIA).

They asked for details of payments to the organisation through programmes such as the Dutch Good Growth Fund and the Massif Fund.

The MPs queried Ms Ploumen’s stance towards BIA after the Ugandan government closed down all 63 of its schools.

“Do you think it is justified to finance, directly or indirectly, for-profit education with public money?” they asked.

EI has exposed how BIA, bankrolled by the world’s richest man Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, runs sordid shack schools employing unqualified teachers giving scripted lessons.

Britain pulled out of funding BIA last year.

Bill Gates’ school privatisation disaster in Uganda


This video from Uganda says about itself:

4 November 2016

The High Court in Kampala has ordered with immediate effect the closure of 63 primary schools run by Bridge International academy.

Lady Justice Patricia Basaza Wasswa made the ruling today following a petition by Bridge International academies on the directive by the education ministry to have the schools closed because of poor education standards.

Following the court ruling, the ministry of education has directed all parents to take their children to the nearby UPE schools on Monday to enable them to do exams.

By Solomon Hughes in Britain:

Bridge academies are falling down

Friday 9th December 2016

SOLOMON HUGHES spotlights Bridge International, which provided teacherless, IT-led ‘education’ for Ugandan kids in unsanitary schools – until the government closed them down

A BRITISH government-funded plan to run for-profit schools in Uganda, with “tablet technology” replacing skilled teachers, has ended in failure.

At the end of November the Ugandan High Court ordered the 63 profit-making schools, which charge Ugandan parents for their kids’ education, to close because the teaching was poor, and the conditions — ramshackle, unsanitary buildings that sometimes lacked toilets — were worse.

The US-based Bridge International Academies had a host of fashionable right-wing plans for the Ugandan schools, which appealed so much to privatisation-happy Tory — and Lib Dem — ministers that they spent some of our aid budget on the failed plan.

First, Bridge International is, as its website makes clear, a “profit-led education” model.

Bridge says its “for-profit academies” can make money educating kids in the developing world by charging “at a price point accessible to families living on $2 a day per person or less.”

It says it can make a profit from these very poor families by running schools cheaply because “we have re-engineered the entire lifecycle of basic education, leveraging data, technology, and scale.”

Behind that jargon lies another fashionable right-wing idea: expensive skilled teachers can be replaced by cheap unskilled tutors thanks to a “highly efficient delivery mechanism.”

That “delivery mechanism” is unskilled tutors using computer tablets to “display scripted lessons.” The tablets also “record attendance and assessment scores and track lesson pacing and pupil comprehension in real time, thanks to our proprietary software.”

The dream of replacing skilled teachers with IT-led “tablet teaching” is an international right-wing fantasy.

It is so powerful that Rupert Murdoch tried to launch a profit-making “tablet teaching” company called Amplify in the US.

Presidential wannabe Jeb Bush (and brother of former president George “Dubya” Bush) has been pushing the “electronic classroom of tomorrow,” a virtual digital school system.

Another Bush brother, Neil Bush, helps to run Ignite Learning, which wants to replace trained teachers with “curriculum on wheels” or “Cows.”

These are purple plastic computerised lesson-delivery trolleys intended to replace properly qualified teachers.

Many of these mad dreams to get rid of teachers have stalled or failed

— Murdoch had to sell his failing education firm Amplify as his dream that he could get rid of teachers in the US and Britain hit up against angry parents and crashing systems.

But Bridge International was allowed to try out this popular right-wing scheme in Africa.

Bridge was founded by Harvard-educated Jay Kimmelman, who previously worked in “educational technology.”

He got funds from techie millionaires Bill Gates (Microsoft), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Vinod Khosla (Sun Microsystems).

But Bridge International is also funded by our Department for International Development (DfID). Under then development secretary (now Education Secretary) Justine Greening, DfID started putting millions of our aid money into Bridge International.

It wasn’t just a Tory plan. Under the coalition, Lib Dem development minister Lynne Featherstone particularly supported DfID funding Bridge for its African operations.

The dream soon turned sour. First, Bridge charges parents about $100 a year (excluding lunch fees). That’s big money for Uganda.

But conditions in their “academy-in-a-box” schools were not good.

Education International — the global teaching union federation backed by Britain’s National Union of Teachers — put a great deal of effort looking into what was happening at the schools. It was bad.

The Ugandan government soon agreed with the Education International findings.

Uganda’s minister for education said Bridge International’s tablet teaching “could not promote teacher-pupil interaction.” Teachers were only “trained” by Bridge itself. The curriculum had not been approved by the government. In addition, the poor hygiene standards “put the life and safety of school children in danger.” Some Bridge “academy” sites had overflowing pit latrines. Others had no latrines.

In August the government ruled the 63 schools should close. After an appeal, the Ugandan High Court backed the closure — although the schools have been allowed to stay open until December to finish the pupils’ term.

Uganda’s state schools are not in a good condition. But that doesn’t mean the nation should be open to every crackpot market-driven solution.

The mad right-wing tech dream of replacing teachers with tablets has so far failed in the US and Britain.

It was a disgrace that Tory and Lib Dem ministers paid valuable development money to push the same for-profit schools model on Uganda.

There is one footnote to this story: Bridge International’s DfID-funded failure in Uganda has been quite fully reported by the right-wing Mail. But it has not been reported by the “liberal” press, like the Guardian or Independent, or the “centrist” [Rupert Murdoch owned] Times.

The Mail is reporting this story because it sees it as proof that the government should not fund overseas development at all. Really the Bridge International failure shows we shouldn’t be giving our aid money into dubious right-wing, snake oil salesmen, whatever they say from the back of their covered wagon about the beneficial effects of their patent profit-driven medicine.

“Kindy boot camp” enrolments proliferating in Australia: here.

Bill Gates’ filthy schools for African children


This video says about itself:

Profiting from the Poor: the case of Bridge International Academies in Kenya

8 November 2016

Pupils are not really learning and teachers are not really teaching at Bridge International Academies in Kenya. Still, many families sacrifice large sums of their budget, which go into the “low cost” education provided by this chain. But what lies behind the green walls of these schools? Should parents trust them, pupils put their future into their hands and international donors contribute to the success of a chain that is not up to standards when it comes to offering quality education for all? This video will be eye-opening for many.

Bridge runs more than 400 nurseries and primary schools across Africa. It started its expansion after opening its first school in a slum in 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, where it currently operates 359 academies throughout catering to 102,644 students with over 4255 academy staff.

Bridge is financially supported by the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and education conglomerate Pearson Ltd. It is also supported by the World Bank and DfID-UK. Bridge’s business model, which includes fee charging schools run by unqualified teachers delivering a scripted standardised curriculum, has faced heavy criticism.

The Ugandan branch of Bridge has recently come under scrutiny for offering an education well below the national standards, which prompted the order by the Ugandan Education Ministry to close the schools in Ocotber 2016. Also attracting significant criticism is the Liberian Government’s announcement to outsource its primary schools to Bridge.

The company has plans to dramatically increase the scale and scope of its operations to deliver education services to over 10 million children across a dozen countries by 2025.

To find more about Bridge go here.

By James Tweedie:

Kenya will crack down on Gates’s filthy shack schools

Wednesday 7th December 2016

KENYA has vowed to crack down on the chain of shack schools bankrolled by the world’s richest man after a damning report by teaching unions.

The Kenyan National Union of Teachers (KNUT) launched the report by global federation Education International (EI) into the transnational Bridge International Academies (BIA) in Nairobi on Monday.

BIA has high-profile backers such as Microsoft boss Bill Gates, along with venture capitalists and the British and US governments.

It aims to supplant governments in Africa and India as the main provider of education to the poor, with a target of 10 million children from families living on about £1.60 a day enrolled by 2025.

But poor teaching standards, low wages and high fees have characterised the operation. Parents interviewed by the report’s authors said they struggled to pay fees, which could reach £16 a month when school dinners and other costs are factored in.

The report also found that 71.5 per cent of the firm’s teachers were unqualified, giving scripted lessons read from tablet computers.

They teach a shocking 59 hours of classes a week on average, on a median salary of about £80 per month.

KNUT general secretary Wilson Sossion called on the government to close all 405 BIA schools in the country, saying: “They should not be allowed to exploit children from poor households.”

Education Minister Fred Matiang’i told reporters he had visited some of the schools and agreed with the report’s conclusions.

“It is true that some of these schools are … (not) offering quality education as they purport to,” he said, adding that the government would be releasing its own report into the outfit.

Mr Matiang’i said he had instructed county commissioners across the country to ensure only official Teaching Service Commission-qualified staff were giving classes from January.

“We are also targeting schools that are not registered or are operating on illegal licences,” he said.

Last month BIA’s chain of 63 schools in Uganda — typically corrugated iron shacks — was shut down after the it lost a court appeal against an education ministry closure order.

The ministry said the schools’ sanitation was so sordid that it endangered pupils’ health and that the firm was not following the national curriculum.

“Bridge International Academies has a few lessons to learn yet,” said EI general secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “The decision of the government of Uganda to close Bridge for failing the meet and adhere to minimum standards has sent a very clear message to this corporate actor.

“The right to quality free education cannot be undermined.”

Billionaire Bill Gates’ poor schools in Africa


This January 2016 video from Kenya is called Uproar Over Bridge International Schools.

Over 100 international organizations signed a statement critical of privatization of education in Kenya and Uganda. They specifically criticized the World Bank for endorsing a for-profit chain of schools called Bridge International Academies. According to the statement released today, “BIA is backed by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Pierre Omidiyar, and multinational publishing company Pearson, among others. It operates in Kenya and Uganda, with plans to invest in Nigeria, India and other countries. It now has close to 120,000 pupils enrolled in more than 400 schools.” The endorsers of the statement believe these countries need free public education with qualified teachers, not for-profit schools with untrained teachers: here.

With results like for-profit Trump University?

From Business Daily in Kenya:

Teachers unions, NGOs call for closure of Bridge schools

By OUMA WANZALA

Tuesday, January 26 2016 at 19:45

Teachers unions have joined hands with civil society groups in demanding the closure of Bridge International Academies for flouting quality standards, shining the spotlight on slum-based institutions as the government proposed strict rules for informal schools.

In a joint statement read by Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) secretary-general Wilson Sossion, sector players accused Bridge International, which operates 405 nursery and primary schools in slums, of failing to follow set guidelines.

“The expansion of Bridge schools is a manifestation of the growing commercialisation and privatisation of education in Kenya, which are the greatest threat to the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals,” said Mr Sossion. …

Teachers at Bridge earn a monthly pay of Sh12,000 which is lower than the average Sh16,000 paid to primary school tutors in public schools. …

Mr Sossion argued that despite the schools receiving support from top philanthropists like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg it still charges parents about Sh1,326 ($13) and was even advertising for more pupils to join.

Privatisation vultures pose serious threat to Liberia’s public education system: here.

Unfounded accusations by Bridge International Academies lead to the arrest of academic, raising serious concerns for transparency of the for-profit school chain: here.

From daily New Vision in Uganda:

The Ministry of Education has suspended the expansion of Bridge International schools in Uganda over poor infrastructure and academic standards.

In a letter dated April 6, 2016 signed by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Rose Nassali Lukwago, the owners of the school have been ordered to halt their expansion with immediate effect.

“Following this rapid expansion, the Ministry is greatly concerned about several issues, but not limited to the legality according to the Education Act 2008, the quality of infrastructure, teachers’ issues, methodology and curriculum,” Nasali said in the letter.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Unions attack failings of schools funded by Gates

Tuesday 27th September 2016

GLOBAL teaching union federation Education International (EI) urged the Ugandan government yesterday to ensure that private schools bankrolled by US billionaire Bill Gates were fit for purpose.

The Bridge International Academies (BIA) chain of tin-shack schools opened for the new term after the Kampala High Court granted an interim order before an October 3 appeal.

Education Minister Janet Museveni ordered the closure of BIA’s 63 low-cost private schools in August, citing “poor hygiene and sanitation which put the life and safety of schoolchildren in danger,” along with their use of unqualified teachers and failure to follow the national curriculum.

EI project director Angelo Gavrielatos told the Morning Star: “Bridge’s business plan is predicated on the employment of unqualified staff delivering a highly scripted standardised curriculum in cheaply constructed facilities.”