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When Finnish students enroll in school at age seven, they can expect to take three or four classes a day. There are frequent breaks, plus a daily 20-minute recess. What’s more, when school is dismissed, there’s rarely any work to be completed at home. Nonetheless, Finnish students consistently rank among the world’s highest achievers in reading, math and science.
Should Bridge International Academies be allowed to experiment on African children? That’s the crux of a question academics, politicians and parents have been trying to answer for the last year.
Bridge, which is backed the World Bank, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg among other luminaries, has been at the center of intense controversies across Africa. Earlier this year, the Ugandan government ordered Bridge to close down 63 of its schools, citing the use of unqualified teachers working in unsafe premises at unregistered schools. Bridge refused to stop its operations and took the government to court. This month, the High Court ruled in favor of the government, but Bridge plans to challenge the ruling.