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A Teaching Model that Can Be Rolled Out Across Africa

NewGlobe insists that teachers deliver tightly scripted lessons written by a central team and sent to them on electronic tablets. The instructions lay out exactly what to write on the blackboard and even when to walk around the classroom. Similarly detailed plans dictate the daily checks head teachers must carry out in order to make sure their staff are up to scratch. Research published in a working paper on June 6th suggests that this highly standardised approach to schooling may have been serving pupils well. The study—by Michael Kremer, a Nobel prize-winning economist, and colleagues at four American universities—tracked more than 10,000 children who applied for free places at NewGlobe schools that were distributed by lottery in Kenya in 2016. (NewGlobe’s schools are better known by the brand name Bridge International Academies.) The new research may have come too late to pep up NewGlobe’s private-school business, which its bosses seem to have given up trying to expand. But the findings will bolster its new strategy: selling to local and national education authorities the tools and training they need to run schools along the lines that its own institutions have demonstrated. It is already working with governments in three Nigerian states and has recently been hired to do something similar in Rwanda.