However Mwesigye says the using the case of Promotion of Equality in African Schools –PEAS intervention model, the PPP arrangement under the USE programme has proved to work better than public schools.
Francis Mwesigye, a Research Fellow at EPRC says Public Private Partnerships
(PPP) offer an opportunity to close the gaps in access to education as well as
address quality concerns.
The introduction of USE in 2007 saw government partnering with 863 private
schools with a view of expanding access to secondary education.
to the Education Management Information System, this partnership saw an
increment of students’ enrolment in public and private secondary schools in
Uganda in 2016 from 800 to 1.4million students.
Government however announced in 2014 that it was considering scrapping free
education in all partnering private secondary schools to enable it raise funds
to set up enough public schools in the countryside.
However Mwesigye says the using the case of Promotion of Equality in African
Schools –PEAS intervention model, the PPP arrangement under the USE programme
has proved to work better than public schools.
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Dr Mwesigye advises that government needs to support private schools through
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Mwesigye’s recommendations arise out of EPRC’s three year-study on the
role of public-private partnerships in enhancing access to quality education,
using PEAS schools as a case study.
Although USE scholarship increased enrollment to secondary schools, statistics
show a significant number of pupils completing primary and not admitted to
For instance, only 326,591 students of the 876,534 who completed the primary cycle
transited into secondary school in 2015.
the USE programme was found to cater for students who are able to score first
and secondary grades in Primary Leaving Examinations –PLE.
For example, in 2016, of the 640,833 pupils who sat PLE, more than half
did not obtain first and second grades, meaning they would not qualify for USE
According to EPRC’s evaluation, the PEAS intervention enhanced access to
education for poor students and those from remote and hard to reach areas. In
addition, students in PEAS schools, who hitherto had poor PLE grades, performed
as well as those in private and government schools in the assessment exams
suggesting that PEAS intervention improved education quality.
PEAS programme started in 2008 in Uganda as an intervention aimed to
substantially increase the number of secondary schools targeting remote and
hard to reach areas. It is currently running 28 schools in the country.
Mwesigye observes that from the study, although PEAS schools take in much less
advantaged students in terms of prior learning attainment, they effectively levelled
the playing field by bringing up average attainment to the same level as more
advantaged and higher achieving students in government and private schools.
It was, for instance, discovered that while government and private schools were
admitting pupils with less than 28 aggregates, PEAS schools admitted those with
“During data collection, the survey teams worked alongside the Uganda
National Examinations Board’s staff who administered standardized tests in
English and Mathematics to 25 randomly selected students in each of S1, S2 and
S3 in each of the schools surveyed. The results indicate that PEAS schools
performed as well as other schools (government and private schools),” reads in
part, the brief.
The study discovered that the main pathways for quality improvement were school
inspection, functionality of parents-teachers’ associations, effectiveness of
child protection policies, and teacher motivation through timely pay and
in-service training, among others.
Dr Mwesigye says involving parents as key stakeholders in schools has been
overlooked by government. This, he says make the parents lose a sense of responsibility