Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, on Tuesday again reiterated that the ministry will not be tolerant of lengthy delays for its projects. She made this point following a visit to the Good Hope Secondary School.
The school is currently under construction but should have been completed since January 2020 following a contract awarded in 2018 to BK International Inc. The Managing Director of the company, Brian Tiwari and his company’s Chief Engineer, Ganesh Sawh, gave the commitment that the school will be completed by May 22, 2021.
According to Sawh, the major aspect of the project left to be completed relates to the electrical work on the school. Minister Manickhand impressed upon the contracting company the importance of the school to Region Four, particularly the students living in communities along the East Coast of Demerara.
She said that the school will accommodate 1,000 students and will allow the Ministry of Education to eliminate all Primary Tops within the region. A Primary Top is a department within a primary school that delivers secondary education to students who do not have access to a secondary school.
She said that the decision to construct the school was conceived in 2014 and funding was provided by the World Bank through the Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project (GSEIP). She said it is disappointing that an entire generation was deprived of benefitting from the school since it could not have been completed during the last five years.
According to the Education Minister, children from villages such as Paradise, Plaisance, Enmore, Good Hope and other communities along the coast will benefit from the school. Minister Manickchand said that the Ministry of Education wants to have the school ready for the new school year which begins in September 2021.
She said that last September, the ministry found itself in an unfortunate position following the National Grade Six Assessment whereby students were awarded a place at the school but due to it being incomplete and not having its full complement of staff, the students had to be given the option of being admitted to other secondary schools.
At that time, Minister Manickchand had said that those students will be given the opportunity to return to the Good Hope Secondary when it is completed. The contractor was told on Tuesday that they are being held to their word for a May 22 completion.
“We have 1,000 children that can come into the school and add to the manpower and skills set that the country has, and make their communities better,” Minister Manickchand noted.
When the school is completed, it will have similar facilities as the school completed at Westminster in Region Three. The two schools are among three that are funded by the World Bank under the GSEIP. The third school will be constructed at Prospect on the East Bank of Demerara. These infrastructure projects in the sector are of great importance as the Ministry works towards Guyana achieving Universal Secondary Education within the next five years. (Modified press release from Ministry of Education)