A High Court in Kenya has upheld the decision to close 10 out of 12 Bridge International Academies schools (BiA) in the city of Busia, in western Kenya, because of low educational standards. This decision is yet another blow to the for-profit education chain that had to close schools down in Uganda for the very same reasons. The ruling determines that the affected children must be relocated to public schools at the end of the current term.
The county education board of the city of Busia decided to close BiA schools last November for non-compliance with basic educational standards. In its recommendations, the board highlighted the fact that the schools did not employ trained and registered teachers. The report also noted the lack of managers and appropriate facilities, as well as an environmental impact assessment.
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), affiliated to Education International, has written an official letter to the Minister of Education demanding that he “take action on these illegal and scandalous schools with immediate effect”, by directing the county education boards to verify the quality of the education delivered by BiA schools and, in case of noncompliance, close them.
The union calls on the Minister to remember the promise he made to take action on the academies – a promise he made to Kenyans when he launched KNUT’s report on BiA schools at the end of 2016. “We expect the Cabinet Secretary for Education to reign in these illegal and scandalous schools with immediate effect and do only one thing and that is to close them down,” said Wilson Sossion, General Secretary of the KNUT.