AT THE Gatina branch of Bridge International Academies, on the outskirts of Nairobi, Nicholas Oluoch Ochieng has one eye on his class of five-year-olds and the other on his tablet. On the device is a lesson script. Every line is written 7,000 miles away, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
There an American team analyses 250,000 test scores every ten days from Bridge’s 405 Kenyan schools, and then uses the data to tweak those parts of a lesson where pupils find themselves stumped. Teachers give identical lessons, and timetables are standardised, too. So when Mr Ochieng’s pupils read from their books, the same words should be reverberating off the walls of each Bridge nursery.
That chorus should soon grow louder. Founded in 2008, Bridge has grown into one of the world’s largest groups of for-profit schools.