The WISE Awards

PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools)

Activity: Unlocking the potential of young people by delivering access to affordable, quality secondary education via local income-generating activities

Name of the Organization: PEAS

Headquarter: United Kingdom

Geographical reach: Uganda, Zambia

Number of beneficiaries: Over 8,000 children

Project Representative: Mr. John Rendel


PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools)

About the Project

PEAS creates high-quality, sustainable secondary schools that contribute to long-term societal change, poverty reduction and the empowerment of young people in Uganda and Zambia.

Context and Issue

The context for PEAS’ activity is a severe lack of access to quality secondary education in Sub-Saharan Africa and, where access is available, prohibitively high fees and poor quality of education.

 In Sub-Saharan Africa, only one in four children is able to continue their education beyond primary school as secondary education is still largely underfunded and underprovisioned. In Uganda, only about 20 percent of villages have a secondary school compared to almost 80 percent with a primary school. This seriously hampers the life chances of students and undermines the motivation of primary school students to complete the primary education cycle. Secondary education has been shown by research to have a hugely positive societal impact. For example, children of secondary educated mothers are 50 percent more likely to survive beyond the age of five (UNICEF 2009).

The Solution and Impact

The PEAS innovative model allows high-quality education to be delivered at low cost and in a sustainable fashion. The project brings in external aid to set up schools and subsequently build income-generating activities within the school. It is pioneering a public-private partnership with the Ugandan Ministry of Education meaning PEAS receives a capitation grant per pupil, so it can keep fees as low as possible.  

Unlike other education providers, PEAS directly supports and monitors its schools through inspections and audits. PEAS also offers continuous professional development for all its teachers and school staff, thereby ensuring an increasingly high quality education is provided to PEAS students year on year.

Over 8,000 children have received or are receiving a quality secondary education in Uganda, and hundreds of teachers have been provided with jobs and training. The longer-term impacts on the socio-economic status of students and their future families are also considerable.

Future Developments

Firstly, PEAS wants to create 100,000 sustainably financed secondary school places in Uganda by 2017. Secondly, it wants to make PEAS schools the best free/low-fee secondary schools in Uganda. Thirdly, it wants to create 10,000 places across five new countries in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2017. Fourthly, it wants to be able to demonstrate and communicate the success of PEAS to different stakeholders. Lastly, it wants to build a strong organization capable of responsibly delivering PEAS goals.

PEAS has a comprehensive implementation plan with main goals and sub-goals in order to achieve the strategic aims detailed above. This involves all senior members of staff reporting to PEAS Trustees on a six-monthly basis on progress to targets, which exist across fundraising, financial management and education programs.