Do Franchise Schools Offer Alternatives For Developing Countries?09:10
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Workers at Bridge International Academies headquarters prepare tablets for use in the school chain's classrooms. (Frederic Courbet/NPR)
Workers at Bridge International Academies headquarters prepare tablets for use in the school chain's classrooms. (Frederic Courbet/NPR)

A pair of American entrepreneurs are trying to change what it means to get an education for the world's poorest people.

Over the last four years, Bridge International Academies has set up more than 200 schools in Kenya and plans to open 50 more in January.

But they're not a non-profit or an aid project, they're a for-profit company offering franchise style schools with large classes and teachers who follow lesson plans entirely from a tablet computer.

Some say it won't work. But Bridge International Academies says they're responsible to their customers and if the product is not good, people will simply not send their children to their schools.

Jason Beaubien, NPR's global health and development correspondent, reports from Kenya.

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This segment aired on December 30, 2013.

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