On International Day of Education, we’re celebrating the foundational role that education plays in repairing injustices, restoring peace, and transforming the future. Education is one of the most powerful equalizers of opportunity and the key to reducing poverty and laying the foundations for sustainable growth.

Globally, we’re far away from achieving the goal of universal access to quality education for all. Despite a commitment to expand access worldwide, millions of young people continue to be excluded. This means young people are missing out on opportunities to gain an education that can help them become young entrepreneurs, trained professionals, confident leaders and responsible citizens. And, beyond what this means to the individual, millions out of school also means higher likelihood of increased poverty and instability.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest, and fastest growing out-of-school population. Since 2009, the out-of-school population has increased by 20 million, reaching 98 million in 2021. While primary education has become near universal across sub-Saharan Africa, 1 in 3 adolescents are still not enrolled in lower secondary education. This figure rises to half for older adolescents (16–18-year-olds). In Uganda, where PEAS operates, two-thirds of the upper secondary school-age population are out of school[1].

PEAS is committed to changing this. We have one of the largest secondary school networks in Sub-Saharan Africa, and we’re working hand-in-hand with governments to strengthen the wider education system. Each year, we reach 170,000 students in PEAS’ secondary schools and partner schools in Uganda, Zambia, and Ghana. Our inclusive admission policies and gender responsive schools and classrooms mean that our schools enrol more girls on average and our students come from poorer households and maker faster learning progress than students at other schools.

A PEAS education aims to shape a generation of leaders who are equipped with the skills and knowledge, and the passion and commitment to create a greener, more sustainable, and more peaceful world. We see our students as future leaders and decision-makers, and our locally-relevant curriculum and extra-curricular learning opportunities aim to set them up to engage positively in their communities and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Click here to read about how a PEAS education has supported our current and former students to engage positively in their communities both at school and beyond.

[1] UNESCO (2022) New estimation confirms out-of-school population is growing in sub-Saharan Africa. Available here.

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