Low-cost private schools ordered to close in Uganda

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A Bridge International school in Uganda

Uganda’s High Court has ruled that the more than 60 primary schools run by Bridge International Academies should be closed.

The US social enterprise, which says it offers cheap but quality education to poor children, has major backers, including the UK government and the foundations of philanthropic billionaires Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

But the schools have been plagued with accusations of poor sanitation, inadequate infrastructure and not following the national curriculum.

An education ministry official says the schools will have to close immediately, which will affect around 12,000 students in the middle of the school term.

Bridge International, which opened its first school in Uganda in 2015, disputes the ruling and will be appealing the decision.

It also operates in India and Nigeria, and in January entered into a partnership with the Liberian government to run its primary schools.

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