PEAS has expanded our student population by 92% in 2012, with 4358 students now in the PEAS network.
After opening a record six schools in early 2012, PEAS is now running 13 schools across Uganda and Zambia.
Two of the five recently opened schools were built in partnership with ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) and another two with our partners The Costa Foundation. All new PEAS schools were able to engage USE–funding for all eligible students in 2012, and so all eligible Senior 1 students will not have to pay tuition fees. Everyone at PEAS is very proud of this development, as it means we can now widen access to secondary education to even the most disadvantaged children.
This month we would like to give you an update on our first school in Zambia.
On January 9th, we launched George Secondary School, PEAS Zambia’s first school in Ndola in the Copperbelt region. It has been an exciting development for everyone at PEAS with 204 students enrolled, over half of whom are girls.
George Secondary School has two classes of Grade 8s in the school and three classes of Grade 10s, with 10 permanent members of teaching staff. This gives the school a good pupil to classroom ratio of 1:40, which is in line with government regulations. Recent developments at the school include a new kitchen with fuel-efficient stoves and a staff room for the 8 teachers working at the school. We are also in the process of completing a dormitory, to be ready for pupils to move into in April ready for Term 2, and an equipped laboratory to be ready in mid- March.
Two IGAs have been launched at George Secondary thanks to T&J Meyer; a poultry house and an arable Project. Both take place at the schools and are one of the main contributors towards PEAS’ goal of sustainability, as well as providing a key location for students to learn vocational and practical skills, which are always in high demand.
The poultry house will generate a steady source of revenue for the school once it is fully up and running. Furthermore, it will provide the school with a steady supply of eggs and potentially also meat that can be included in the students’ lunches to increase the protein value of the meals. We expect a healthy profit of K4 million (£500) after the first six weeks, with the initial costs being covered the project will start to fund itself by being able to buy feed for the chickens, fumigation and vaccination materials and replace any loss of chickens or eggs. The revenues will also be used to purchase more teaching and learning equipment for the school: K4 million could purchase four whole class sets of text books for Maths or English.
The arable project was set up early on to ensure its proper integration into the school and allow the school to gather at least two harvests already in the first year of operation. Beans and cabbage have been planted in the field and will contribute towards the student’s lunches, and thus reduce the running costs of the school.
George Secondary School, as the high registration numbers show, has been hugely successful in expanding access to the poorer families in the locality. We will need to expand the school quickly in order to develop the capacity for the school to absorb these students without compromising the quality of the build and the facilities, and most importantly, without effecting the teaching and learning in the school. The school will eventually grow to maturity at 1,000 students and PEAS can help realise the dreams of boys like Ephraim Nyenge, 16.
“I was able to come to George Secondary School because it’s cheap and my parents can afford the fees. When I leave school I want to be a policeman because there are people who do not treat everyone well and I want to help those people.”