Locating the schools

It is important to PEAS that PEAS Schools are built in areas which expand access to secondary education. We conduct rigorous research to find locations where there is a high demand for secondary school places. In Uganda, these areas tend to be remote ‘hard to reach’ rural locations where there distance to the nearest secondary school is too far for the children to walk to. In Zambia, areas of high demand and low provision tend to be large urban compounds (or “townships”) surrounding major towns and cities.

As a result of our school placement research, PEAS is not competing with existing schools but adding school places in areas where children would otherwise struggle to access secondary school. Reducing the distances to walk to the nearest secondary also has a considerable impact on girls’ education as it reduces safety concerns associated with long walks to school.

What do we build initially?

That largely depends on the amount of funding available. As a minumum to launch a school, we will purchase the land, sink a bore hole and enclose the land with a fence for security. We will then construct a three classroom block that also converts into a hall, and another block with two classrooms and administrative offices. We will also build a dormitory with attached sanitary facilities and a separate sanitary block for general use. The school will also get a temporary kitchen for school lunches and the compound will be levelled and finished, with some shade given by the trees we plant. The school can then launch with up to 300 students if demand is very high.

Building the schools

PEAS has an experienced in-house construction team which project manages the construction process. Our construction team has a robust processes for tendering, contracting and supervising work which means we can build schools on time, on budget and cost-effectively. 

When PEAS builds a new school, we usually launch it with capacity for around 350 pupils. Typically, it takes 10 months to build this first phase of a new school. As the school matures and the demand for places increases, we expand the school infrastructure. All schools comply with government minimum standards in the countries where we work and we have introduced other design features to ensure that they are more child-friendly and are conducive and inspiring learning environments.

Given that PEAS schools are often built in remote, hard-to-reach areas, many schools do not have access to running water or mains electricity. Therefore, our construction team also oversees the drilling of bore-holes and large-scale solar projects to ensure that our students have th infrastructure they need to support their studies.

PEAS Pioneer High School: Solar Power Installation from COINS Foundation on Vimeo.

For more information about our school building process, take a look at our FAQs.