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News11th May 2015

Record exam results for Ark’s partner PEAS in Uganda

A network of schools in Uganda supported by Ark is celebrating their best ever exam results this year after the number of students achieving good results jumped ten percentage points.

In total, 48% of students across 21 PEAS schools, which are supported by Ark, achieved the top three grades in their 2014 Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) examinations – the Ugandan equivalent to GCSEs – up from 38% in 2013 and three percentage points above the national average.

Ark has been working with PEAS in Uganda since 2011 years, helping 12,000 students in rural communities have access to a quality secondary education. Unlike the majority of schools in Uganda, PEAS schools are non-selective and operate at less than half the cost of Government schools.

Three schools in the PEAS network performed particularly well: the proportion of students achieving the top three grades at Akoromit, Nyero and Kityerera were 94%, 81% and 73% respectively.Akoromit, which opened only two years ago, is now offering A levels as a result of their UCE success last year. Half of Akoromit’s UCE cohort for this year are staying at the school to study, with others going to nursing and teacher training colleges – giving even greater access to education for young people in some of Uganda’s most economically disadvantaged rural communities.

Akoromit’s Headteacher Emmanuel has developed a strategy to maintain the school’s exam success and help more students reach the top two UCE grades. Using student assessment data, he has created individual targets for every student, recruited more science teachers to drive up science results, has been monitoring the curriculum teaching across the school and introduced extra lessons before and after normal school to make sure all the content is covered.

The school hopes that these focused activities will further improve results when the students take their exams at the end of the year and PEAS is sharing Emmanuel’s best practices with other Headteachers in the network so they can learn from Akoromit too.

Ark International Education Manager Sabina Morley said:

“For the past two years, Ark has focused on supporting PEAS to improve the quality of education across their network. This year’s exam results show the impact of this hard work: with strong leadership and management, PEAS schools are able to offer better results than Government schools, at a significantly lower cost, reaching some of the most marginalised children in Uganda.

“Our focus this year is to improve the results at some of the lower performing PEAS schools and to increase the overall proportion of students across the network achieving the top two grades at UCE. The impressive success of schools like Akoromit shows that this is possible and the PEAS model can work- but we still have much more to do to achieve our goals.”