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Schools partially funded by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg ordered to CLOSE in Uganda because they ‘risked the life and safety of 12,000 students’

More than 60 schools partially funded by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg has been shut down in Uganda after the government blasted it as ‘unsanitary and unqualified’.

The African country’s High Court ordered the Bridge International Academies to close by December 8, once students have finished exams for the year.

Uganda’s Director of Education Standards, Huzaifa Mutazindwa, said the decision was made after the for-profit educated group risked the ‘life and safety’ of its 12,000 students by flaunting the country’s education standards.

More than 60 chools partially funded by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg has been shut down in Uganda after the government blasted it as ‘unsanitary and unqualified’

‘The Ministry does not know what is being taught in these schools which is a point of concern to (the) government,’ Mutazindwa said, according to CNN

Bridge International Academies has 63 campuses across Uganda to help provide education to low-income groups. It charges $6 a month.

It defended itself from the accusations, releasing a statement designed to ‘set the record straight’.

‘Bridge teaches, and has always taught, the Ugandan curriculum. We engaged with National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) before opening schools, and have formally written to NCDC to review our material,’ it read.

The African country’s High Court ordered the Bridge International Academies to close by December 8, once students have finished exams for the year. Pictured are students during a demonstration after the decision

Bill Gates is an investor in the school program, which operates in several countries across Africa

Mark Zuckerberg’s Zuckerberg Education Ventures is listed as a backer of the low-cost program

‘All schools have good sanitation facilities. All have 7 latrines and a urinal, 2 large water tanks, safe drinking water and hand washing facilities. All Bridge structures are approved by Local District Government Planning committees before construction.

‘We have always wanted, and continue to want to work in partnership with the Government of Uganda and comply with all laws. We remit 40m+ a month in tax and contribute to the economic development of Uganda.’ 

However, other critics how spoken out against the organization, saying it is wrong to claim it ‘educates’ students.

‘You can’t call it an education that Bridge is offering,’  Global Campaign for Education President Camilla Croso told CNN.

A Bridge International Academies student is seen holding a sign that reads, ‘Keep “Bridge” Open’

Bridge International Academies has 63 campuses across Uganda to help provide education to low-income groups. It charges $6 a month

‘You have technology — like tablets — often standing in place of teachers and you have very scripted classes that tell the teachers exactly what to do and when — so you don’t have any sort of autonomy and you can’t improvise.

‘Education has nothing to do with that – it’s about debating, thinking and discussions.’

Cross continued: ‘They are profit making enormously… It’s very indecent because they are looking at poor people as a profitable market.

‘It really is incompatible to have human rights and profit making because you are motivated and act in completely different ways.’

Uganda’s Director of Education Standards, Huzaifa Mutazindwa, said the decision was made after the for-profit educated group risked the ‘life and safety’ of its 12,000 students by flaunting the country’s education standards. Pictured is a classroom of students

Parents of pupils from Bridge International Academies demonstrate after Uganda’s High Court ordered the closure of the group’s campuses across the country

Andrew White, the group’s Ugandan director, said BIA was created to fill a need in the region.

‘The existence of Bridge is in response to hundreds of thousands of parents who as of today don’t have an adequate choice of education for their children,’ White told CNN.

‘The reason Bridge exists is to try and help the government address this by providing innovative and cost effective solutions.’ 

Bridge International Academies also runs more than 400 nurseries across Africa, and has a similar school program in Kenya and Nigeria.

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