In Sub-Saharan Africa, only one in four children have access to secondary education.

While many governments have introduced programmes of universal primary education this does not extend to education beyond the age of 11 years old. As a result, 22 million children of secondary school age have no access to school in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.

When PEAS Founder and CEO, John Rendel, first visited Uganda he was still a 21 year old university student. He spent some time teaching at a primary school in a Kampala slum and, after speaking to the children about their aspirations for the future, John was shocked to learn that very few of the children there expected to continue to secondary school.

“Failure to absorb the growing number of primary school leavers will undermine Universal Primary Education and broader National goals like the elimination of poverty’. Dr Yusuf Nsubuga, Ugandan Commissioner for Secondary Education.”

Secondary schools had a severe lack of of affordable places meaning families simply couldn't afford to send their children to school. Many communities live too far away to make school an option.

The excess demand for secondary places that John had become aware of was and still is a pan-African problem. This has been exacerbated by increased provision of primary education, as international attention and targets like those set by the Millennium Development Goals have focused attention and funding on primary education.


“PEAS have built school networks in Uganda and Zambia with 30 secondary schools educating around 16,000 students.”

Uganda became the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to introduce a programme of Universal Secondary Education (USE), and the financial support PEAS schools receive from the government is one of the three ways we have been able to remove all tuition fees for students and maintain the schools' financial independence.

In just eight years, PEAS have become one of the leading providers of non-state secondary education in Africa.