Case Studies: AltSchools and Bridge International

This PECE essay was originally created as part of the "Decolonizing the University" PECE essay (found here) which was produced by Angela Okune for Professor Kavita Philip's HIST 290 course on "Decolonizing the Histories of Science and Technology" in June 2018. This essay is nested within a section of the essay that looks at Tech Philanthrophy and “Entrepreneuring” Education in Africa.

This essay focuses on two case studies: AltSchool, a Silicon Valley-based for-profit tech education start-up that purports to offer highly tailored education that uses technology to target each student’s “needs and passions" and Bridge International, a for-profit tech education start-up started by three Americans with strong ties to Silicon Valley that has raised over $100 million from tech giants like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg as well as global development organizations like the International Finance Company (a part of the World Bank). The two examples illustrate the kinds of "solutions" that Silicon Valley is proposing to address the "education crisis" in the US and in the global South. The two are put in the same frame because not only do they share funders such as Chan-Zuckerberg Foundation, they also have some of the same advisors who sit on their boards. These cases are revealing of the types of values, concepts, and need for scale that drive "innovation" in the education sector.

This essay is part of a broader orals doc on Decolonizing the African University.

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