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DOCTOR OF EDUCATION PROGRAM Contemporary Approaches to Educational Problems – Ed 855.716: Spring 2014
Name of Organization: URL: Contact Information: PEAS (Promoting Equality in African Schools) http://www.peas.org.uk/ Libby Hills (Education Specialist) Libby.firstname.lastname@example.org +260968072199 Skype: libby1920 Access and equity
Focus: Mission, Vision, History:
PEAS is a global social enterprise/charity hybrid. Our mission is to unlock the potential of Africa by delivering equal access to affordable, quality secondary education. Over the past twenty years many African governments have introduced programmes of universal primary education. In Uganda the availability of free primary education has seen enrolment at the primary level reach as much as 93%. However, this has led to a pan-African problem excess demand for secondary places. PEAS exists to work towards addressing the demand for educational access by growing a network of PEAS secondary schools. PEAS is a global organization with offices in UK, Uganda and Zambia, all dedicated to working in a progressive environment with strong support from the Ugandan and Zambian governments. Just five years after the launch of our first school, PEAS is now running 24 schools in Uganda and two in Zambia, with more currently under construction and due to launch in February 2014. Together, we aim to not only change the lives of thousands of children, but to make PEAS’ impact systemic. We hope to achieve this by working with African governments to help develop structures to support public-private partnerships that will enable a rapid increase in the provision of affordable, quality secondary education across the continent. PEAS is a WISE Awards winner: Best International Aid & Development Award & overall winner at the 2013 Charity Awards and part of the Top 100 Social Innovators by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Context: Provide the location and the population being served and if the program is new or ongoing. In other words, provide background on the community.
The program will focus on our school in George Compound in Ndola. George Secondary School (GSS) has been running for two years and now has 8 classes of 45 students (360 students). This year was the first year we received exam results. It is in a semi-rural location 5km outside of the main town. The community is mainly farmers. A recent demographic survey we conducted showed that our students come from a significantly more challenging socio economic situation than other local secondary schools. The level of maternal education is lower, sources of drinking water are further away and more students have to find external sources of income. We seek to research the issue of disparity between the school achievement of girls and boys. We have assumed that absenteeism is a contributing factor, which we seek to address, but also know there is a range of other contexts we must consider as we develop our theory of change. PEAS seeks to assess and define what quality education for girls means within our Zambian context. Our recent exam results showed a large disparity between the attainment of girls and boys. The only cases of absenteeism from the exams were female. The challenge is to try to diagnose the possible factors causing this underachievement and strategically plan relevant improvement initiatives and projects for the short, mid and long term. We operate in a very resource constrained environment so any initiatives or projects will need to be resource/cost light or neutral. Additionally the levels of understanding and appreciation of gender equality from the community and school staff is a barrier. A level of training or orientation for staff will likely need to form a part of any improvement strategy. We would like to hone our theory of change to factors JHU students can consider, and so seek to explore one of the areas we have explored above to see where this leads.
The Challenge (Capsule Summary)
The Challenge (Explained) Describe the challenge in terms of what research can do to support progress toward your intended goal. What obstacles are you facing? Examples may include strategic design, resistance from above, policy constraints, resource constraints, integration of new knowledge on gender equality measures. The more focused the target (specific population and specific challenge), the more productive the results will be. Please keep in mind that we need to build a collaborative rapport, select the challenge, create a research design, write a paper, and create a slide presentation in 6 weeks