After years of delays, about 1,000 students living on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) will finally be able to fully benefit from a full secondary education at the completed Good Hope Secondary School.
The school, which was originally scheduled for completion in 2020, was opened on Wednesday by President Dr. Irfaan Ali.
On Wednesday, Education Officer Faith Joe-Gulliver explained that the school was conceptualised in 2014, just about a decade ago, after education authorities realised that existing secondary schools were no longer to adequately accommodate students living along the East Coast corridor.
Primary tops were also in place but these did not provide a full secondary education to students. These ‘tops’ existed at some primary schools and allowed secondary school-aged children to learn the required content up to Grade Nine (or Third Form).
Education Minister Manickchand, while addressing the grand opening ceremony for the school on Wednesday, acknowledged that these primary tops were not ideal.
With the help of the World Bank, through the Secondary Education Improvement Project, the school was conceptualised. And it was decided that existing land in the Good Hope Housing Scheme, which was used as a pasture for animals, would be used to construct the school.
And now, Manickchand said all the primary tops on the East Coast will be closed and the students will be accommodated at the new facility.
The school has 25 classrooms, two Information Technology (IT) laboratories, a SMART room, a large library, several science laboratories, three Home Economics rooms and a dance studio.
And President Ali, who addressed those gathered at the school, said his government has placed great importance improving education all across the country. As such, he promised that investments in building better schools will be made.
The President also mentioned the various facilities in place at the school, explaining that his government does not want to narrowly focus on academic development. Instead, he believes that emphasis must also be placed on developing various skills.
Construction of this school started in 2018 but in 2021, the contract with BK International was terminated. The school was completed by Deen + Partners at a final cost of US$5.15 million.