Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bridge International Academies Jobs in Nairobi, Kenya: Head of Instruction

About Bridge International Academies

Bridge International Academies is a startup revolutionizing education across Africa with a truly unique business model and instructional program. The company has launched a large-scale, franchise-like network of ultra low-cost, for-profit private primary schools in Kenya, and will expand across Africa. Our schools profitably deliver high-quality education for less than $4 per child per month.

Local school managers are able to operate their school businesses profitably, while creating a highly successful business at the central level. This ensures that the school is not dependent on the vagaries of donor funding, but will rather continue to serve the communities as long as parents value the educational service we provide. To ensure the delivery of high quality education, Bridge International writes its own curriculum using Direct Instruction methodology. We also train and support our own teachers.

We have already launched the first 12 schools in our network in the slums of Nairobi with tremendous success, and plan to rapidly scale the company to serve more than 1 million families in Africa.

About this position

Bridge International has developed Version 1.0 of an extremely detailed and rigorous instructional approach to enable a broad universe of teachers from local slum neighborhoods to be extremely effective in the classroom, overseen and managed by a school manager implementing a specialized support and oversight system, monitored and audited by a field-based operations team from headquarters.

Our teachers come to us with a minimum of secondary school certificates, some with and some without previous teaching experience, and our school managers are also residents from the local community with maturity and experience in some management or business capacity.

The core of this instructional approach includes:
  • a Direct Instruction or scripted curriculum (word for word, action-by-action scripts for every lesson in the classroom) based on the national syllabus
  • a continuous assessment program integrated with the curriculum, using specialized assessment recording forms and easy to follow rules for when teachers should continue on to new material or remediate on previous lessons
  • an intensive teacher training program (both induction and ongoing teacher support systems in the field), enabling us to hire local teachers with minimum secondary school education, without previous teacher certification, and provide them with the training, skills and support needed to be highly effective in our classrooms
  • an integrated tutoring program to ensure that students don’t fall behind
  • an extended day/week schedule to allow for maximum “time on task”
  • an instructional compliance system managed by both school managers at the school as well as headquarters-based school support officers, that include weekly instructional compliance reviews, detailed classroom observation rubrics, multi-part instructional oversight and compliance checklists, random spot checks and guided review of assessment results and tutoring placement records, etc.
  • a detailed Teacher Guide
  • detailed and rigorous policies around everything from classroom management, instructional progression, attendance, discipline, etc
This system is complemented with extensive training, support, guidance and frequent auditing at multiple levels. We call this our “School in Box” model.

Due to the standardization and systematizing, our overall operational approach is most similar to that of other well-run, large-scale chains of service businesses, such as those in retail and food services. The critical difference being that our service is world-class quality but ultra-affordable primary education.


We are seeking a full-time Head of Instruction who will be responsible for all of these instructional elements of our “School in a Box”.

The continued success of our schools, and our ability to scale to serve millions of children, depends critically on the enhancement, improvement, management and continued development of all of these core educational elements of our “School in a Box” model.

The Head of Instruction will be responsible for upgrading the instructional components of our “School in a Box” from version 1.0, to 2.0, and eventually to 8.0 to support a network of thousands of schools, with tens of thousands of teachers and millions of students.

This is an IDEAL job for an entrepreneurial superstar with 5+ years of educational expertise, especially in teacher training, curriculum & instruction, assessment and school management. You will become part of our senior management team that is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

This job will require you to relocate for a minimum three-year commitment. Since we are still a start-up company, the Head of Instruction must be incredibly hands-on.

About You
  • You are one of those rare multi-talented people who is both deeply creative and analytical.
  • You bring with you deep and broad experience across many facets of the educational process, but most importantly have demonstrated capacity to think way outside the box in identifying critical educational issues and developing non-traditional approaches to solve them.
  • You know that a great teacher is not born, but made. Teaching is a skill that can be taught.
  • In particular you have experience designing and delivering
  1. detailed instructional materials (ideally scripted or Direct Instruction curriculum)
  2. high-quality teacher training programs, and ongoing professional development support
  3. continual assessment systems,
  4. other teacher support materials, including detailed teacher guides, remediation programs & supplemental resources
  5. point-by-point classroom management guidelines and key behaviors of successful teachers
  • Experience working with schools in the developing world is a plus, especially Africa, but in general you would be very comfortable with living and working in the developing world.
  • You love data and believe that the educational process can be particularly data-rich. You are incredibly data-driven, analytical, and excited about developing an academic environment and processes in which high-quality data is regularly collected and used to manage and improve our franchise-like schools.
  • You are not afraid of getting your hands dirty, and will thrive on the opportunity to initially both design and personally implement many of the training, systems and materials with actual teachers and students at our initial schools.
  • You have experience managing projects with many moving pieces, and building and managing teams of people
  • You are comfortable and familiar with identifying, analyzing, interpreting and applying the results of appropriate high-quality educational research.
  • You function well in a fast-paced informal environment where constant change is the norm and the bar for quality is set high.
  • Bachelors or Masters degree
Our team has a passionate belief that basic primary education is critical to the development of every child, family, community and nation.

We believe that it is possible to address this critical need for poor families through new and innovative approaches leveraging the private sector, and that by providing low-cost but high-quality primary education, we will give millions of children the opportunity to accomplish their dreams.

We are looking for people who want to join us in this rewarding task.

Note: Bridge welcomes applications from everyone. Do be aware that our “slum” communities are not wheelchair accessible.

Click here to apply for this job online

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