At PEAS, we keep sustainability in mind at all times, so that the money we raise has a permanent effect and is not spent covering transient costs. So how do we make each school cover its own running costs?
In February 2011 PEAS entered into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the Ugandan government, which provides a subsidy per student per term. This provides enough money to make school places free to students, who now only have to contribute lunch money (and boarding fees when appropriate). As of January 2012, eleven of our thirteen schools in Uganda are funded by this subsidy. This is great news, meaning that even the very poorest students can get the secondary education they deserve.
Although our schools in Uganda are now free, PEAS is always looking to expand. As when we first opened schools in Uganda, our first school in Zambia charges very low fees. These are considerably lower than either state or private schools. Each school has boarding students who pay slightly higher fees and this money is used to cross-subsidise day school fees to keep them low. As each school matures, fees from the boarders cross-subsidise around 200 free places in each school. Unlike many other schools, PEAS school fees include lunch and books so students don't have to cover any additional costs. Many state schools don’t provide food and many children only eat one proper meal a day.
Once a PEAS school is established, we invest in Income Generating Activities (IGAs). These have in the past included bee-keeping and brick-making, but new activities are being added all the time. We aim to not only provide additional income for our schools, but also to teach students a useful vocational skill. We focus on business ideas that can exploit the existence of the PEAS internal market, i.e. goods demanded by other PEAS schools. We also prefer socially or ecologically responsible enterprises. Learn more about school IGAs here.