NEW YORK | MONROVIA (IDN | GIN) - In what might be a first in Africa, Liberia will put its entire pre-primary and primary education system in the hands of a U.S. start-up that would bring a charter school model to struggling schools on the continent.
Bridge International Academies already has a presence in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. Despite a headquarters in Nairobi, a listing for the company shows a San Francisco address.
When Liberian Education Minister George K. Werner announced in January that all pre-primary and primary schools would be outsourced to Bridge to manage, he set off a furor among local and international education experts. The arrangement, they said in an interview with the New Dawn newspaper, would be a “blatant violation of Liberia’s international obligations under the right to education and have no justification under Liberia’s constitution.