Boko Haram and the other 34 million kids

Posted: May 28th, 2014 | Author: | | No Comments »

From Inc Magazine:

This month, Inc. named Bridge International Academies to our list of Most Audacious Companies in the World. Founded by U.S. entrepreneurs Shannon May and Jay Kimmelman, the for-profit company aims to end world poverty by building and operating schools that will ultimately serve 10 million students across the developing world. Shortly after our article went to press, the terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped more than 300 girls from a state school in Nigeria–a country where Bridge International had announced plans to begin operations next year. We asked May whether the event had affected the company’s plans. May, who responded by email, says she is more determined than ever to bring education to the African nation:

Shannon writes:

Boko Haram. Since April, almost everyone knows the name, and many people have stood up to ask the Nigerian government what they have done to “bring back our girls.” I am in Nigeria as I write this, with my two girls. Chloe is 3 years old. Julia is 2 months. I am here to enable more girls and boys living in poor villages, towns, and cities across Nigeria to go to great, safe schools, democratizing the right to succeed. Is this a bad time for Bridge International Academies to start operations in Nigeria? No. It is with even greater urgency that we are starting our operations here.

Bridge will launch in Lagos. Shannon explains:

While Boko Haram is currently attacking the future of the three million children who live in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe State, the future of the 34 million children across Nigeria Read the rest of this entry »

Fort Washington

Posted: May 15th, 2014 | Author: | | No Comments »

Fort_Washington_(Cambridge,_Massachusetts)_-_080055pvOur office is near Ft. Washington Park, by the Charles River.

In 1775 George Washington put 3 cannons there. (The photo is from 1934).

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The big picture goal: siege to the British forces in Boston and Charlestown. The key to the plan was really South Boston fortifications. The 3 cannons were Read the rest of this entry »

Look! Watch this

Posted: May 13th, 2014 | Author: | | No Comments »

Dan Willingham writes:

You often hear the phrase that small children are sponges, that they constantly learn. This sentiment is sometimes expressed in a way that makes it sound like the particulars don’t matter that much — as long as there is a lot to be learned in the environment, the child will learn it. A new study shows that for one core type of learning, it’s more complicated. Kids don’t learn important information that’s right in front of them, unless an adult is actively teaching them.

The core type of learning is Read the rest of this entry »


Posted: May 6th, 2014 | Author: | | 1 Comment »

Had coffee yesterday with a Nigerian journalist friend, “A.”

A’s emotions on the Boko Haram kidnapping of 273 schoolgirls in her country: intense anger, frustration, despair…with her government’s response, which she sees as a mix of inaction, misinformation, and indifference.

This from the Christian Science Monitor:

Boko Haram is an indigenous insurgency that has almost no local support. Its name means “opposition to Western education” or “Western education is sinful.” Read the rest of this entry »

Can we make it work with a dozen schools? A hundred?

Posted: April 25th, 2014 | Author: | | No Comments »

From Inc Magazine:

The founders’ experiences add up to a master class for entrepreneurs working in the developing world. “Bridge is pioneering not only a business but an entire approach,” says Matt Bannick, managing partner at Omidyar Network. “I think they’ll have a profound impact that ultimately will Read the rest of this entry »

Bridge on MSNBC

Posted: April 20th, 2014 | Author: | | No Comments »

The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa is just out by Dayo Olopade.

The book is for sale here.

Access to Books

Posted: April 14th, 2014 | Author: | | 3 Comments »

If you give kids access to books they like, along with “connective tissue” (follow-up by staff), can you get them to read more out of school?

If you can increase the amount that kids read out of school, do they do better in school? Read the rest of this entry »

Teacher Strike

Posted: April 4th, 2014 | Author: | | No Comments »

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My colleague Brittney just returned from a trip to Nigeria. There she met an education official who described the teacher strike in her region, called Benue.

It’s gone on since last August!

I went onto the interwebs to learn more. Here’s the story from Yusha’u A Ibrahim:

“I don’t like doing something else, other than learning during school hours but I don’t have a choice since our teachers are still on strike,” these are the words of Ali Bino Ali, a 10-year-old primary 4 pupil in Makurdi, capital of Benue State.

Little Ali, a pupil of Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) Primary School along Hospital Road in Makurdi is one among the many pupils of public primary schools in the state who now find solace in doing menial jobs or hawking for their parents, following the long drawn industrial action embarked upon by the primary school teachers.

Ali, who is presently working as a mechanic apprentice around John Holt junction at the Wadata area of Makurdi, said that his parents decided to engage him in mechanic works to stop him from idling away Read the rest of this entry »

More About Edu-to-Employment

Posted: April 1st, 2014 | Author: | | 1 Comment »

The IFC folks have assembled a great panel. A few moments that I recall:

Saleh Al-Amr is CEO of Colleges of Excellence in Saudi Arabia.

CoE offer certificates and diplomas in specialized application areas for high school graduates who are Saudis or sons and daughters of Saudi mothers, in addition, during the preparatory year, CoE focuses on developing English language and communication skills.

So here’s how the Saudi government did it. They Read the rest of this entry »

Gabriel Azevedo

Posted: April 1st, 2014 | Author: | | No Comments »

Gabriel Azevedo is Environmental Director for Odebrecht Engineering and Construction Company, the largest infrastructure construction company in Latin America. Here’s the gist of what he said:

We have 135,000 lower skilled workers out of our 160,000 employees. They typically come from secondary schools in Latin America, Brazil, Africa.

We find the schools fail at their basic functions. Read the rest of this entry »