Kenyan pupils in Bridge schools excel in national exams

29 November 2017

For the third consecutive year children at Bridge International Academies in Kenya have significantly outperformed the national average in their end of primary school exams.

Bridge pupils surpassed their peers in other schools by over 10 percentage points.

All Kenyan pupils take a government exam at the end of primary school to see if they are eligible for secondary school. Children need to score 200 marks or more to be eligible for secondary school which an impressive 86% of Bridge pupils achieved. This compares to a national average of 76% who reached more than 200 marks.

These strong academic results are the latest in a growing list of external evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of Bridge’s model in helping children to learn. Only a few months ago an independent report on pupils in Liberia, who attend free Bridge public schools, showed that they learn at double the speed of their peers in traditional public schools.

The scores also show significant support for the Bridge model of teaching, as the longer a child studies at Bridge the stronger their result in national exams.  Those attending 5 years or more achieved an average pass rate (250 marks) of 69%.

Since 2015, the number of Bridge girls passing the KCPE has increased by over 20%. Girls attending Bridge for five or more years were Bridge’s highest performing group, averaging 287 marks.

Sean Geraghty, Chief Academic Officer at Bridge, said, “Bridge now has three consecutive years of above average learning gains for Kenya, and very strong learning gains in Liberia. We are delighted that the evidence base for learning is becoming stronger and stronger every year.

“Bridge delivers high quality education at a low price for parents and governments. Today’s national exam results in Kenya are the best yet and show that our model works for the most important people in the global education debate – the children.

“Today, most children in the world are not learning the basics, and the situation is particularly challenging in sub-Saharan Africa, where most of our schools are based. For many of our pupils, there is not a viable alternative; most of our pupils live in slums or very rural communities where access to quality education is limited.

“We proudly celebrate the outstanding results our Kenyan 2017 graduates have achieved. It is a testament to their dedication and hard work and once again shows that Bridge is delivering life changing education for children in some of the most challenging environments.

“These results can only be achieved in schools with strong, high quality, well supported teachers. This is a massive boost for all our dedicated teachers in Kenya who have demonstrated their brilliance and effectiveness in creating a rich learning environment.”

Some Bridge pupils scored over 400 marks putting them in the top percentile of Kenyan pupils. These high performers are children who live in highly marginalised communities. A large number of Bridge schools operate in challenging communities, such as the slums of Nairobi, remote rural communities and areas affected by the terrorist group al-Shabaab, where some government schools have been closed due to insecurity. The results illustrate how Bridge schools provide an outstanding education in some of the most disadvantaged communities in Kenya where families survive on or under $2 USD a day.  

The delighted 13 year old Vanessa Mweni Musyoki from Bridge Kwa Hola Mombasa, who achieved 408 marks, said “I was confident I could pass with flying colours because of the support and preparation given by my teacher. My family struggled to provide me with an education and now they feel it was all worth it, they are so proud of my results.

“I’m really excited about the future and feel I have so many opportunities that I would never have had if I hadn’t been lucky enough to go to Bridge.  Now, I can be a role model for other girls in my community. I will keep working hard and one day be a writer and produce books like the ones I have learnt to love at school.”

An excited 14 year old Joseph Onyango from Bridge Koru in Kisumu County could not hide his delight after he scored 413 marks, saying, “This is the best Christmas gift I could have given to my parents. They worked so hard to make sure that I had a great education and the opportunity to succeed in life. I am so thankful.

“My amazing teachers really motivated me to aim high. My school encouraged me to believe that I could fulfil my dreams. I used to say that I wanted to be a lawyer; now I think I will actually be one.”

Bridge students averaged 265 marks on the examination, 15 marks higher than the national average. Overall, these results add to the mounting body of evidence that the Bridge model delivers strong learning gains for its pupils.


For further information, please contact:

Ben Rudd

Public Relations Director

+44 (0) 20 3813 8236

Notes to Editors

Interviews, photos and case studies are available on request.

According to the latest UN statistics, over half of children and adolescents in the world are not learning the basics.   

The Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) is the compulsory national exam that all Kenyan pupils take at the end of Grade 8. The results determine whether pupils are eligible to go on to secondary school. A minimum mark of 200 is required, though at least 250 is considered passing the exam. The mark is entirely based on exam performance and does not comprise of teacher assessments or coursework.

Bridge has delivered consecutive learning gains in Kenya over multiple years. Bridge pupils have sat the KCPE in 2015, 2016 and 2017. In all three years Bridge pupils have significantly performed above the national average.

Bridge had 3,412 pupils sit the Kenyan Certificate of primary Education (KCPE) exam (who had completed at least one academic year), and almost 1,000 of them achieved over 300 marks, a feat achieved by less than 23% of pupils across the whole of Kenya.

Pupils who passed the exams came from 44 Kenyan counties where Bridge operates with top Bridge pupils emerging from Nairobi, Mombasa and Busia county.

Bridge is proud to teach the 8-4-4 Kenyan curriculum and there’s no greater testimony to this than the good KCPE results it continues to register every year. The Kenyan Government is partnering with Bridge on the pilot of the new Kenyan curriculum expected to roll out next year. More detail here.

The results follow the publication of a Liberian Randomised Control Trial in August 2017, which proved that after just 9 months Bridge pupils were outperforming their peers in traditional public schools by 100%. Read more here.

It is estimated that there are 2 million children served by non-formal schools across Kenya. The government released the Alternative Provision of Basic Education and Training (APBET) guidelines in March 2016 which have yet to be implemented across Kenya.

All Bridge schools are either free or affordable, with free schools in Liberia thanks to a PPP and affordable schools elsewhere that charge on average $7 USD per month per child. Pupil intake is non-selective.

About Bridge International Academies

Bridge believes every child has the right to high quality education and works in partnership with governments, communities, parents and teachers to deliver education to over 100,000 children in underserved communities across Africa and Asia.  

Bridge leverages in-depth teacher training and support, advanced lesson plans and wireless technology to provide pupils with a meaningful and life-changing education.

Globally, there is an education crisis. Around 263 million children and young people are not in school and the number of primary school aged children not in school is increasing. Bridge is committed to helping tackle this through a data driven, evidence based approach that delivers strong schools and a great education.

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