After being under construction for close to two years, a $585M state-of-the-art Abram Zuil Secondary School was on Thursday commissioned in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and is expected to change the prospects for hundreds of children.
The modern two storey-concrete structure, which has a glass front, will include 27 classrooms some of which are smart, science and information technology laboratories, a learning resource centre, a multipurpose centre, a cafeteria and a recreational space.
And to cater for persons with disabilities, an elevator is expected to be installed soon.
The school was built to accommodate approximately 750 students; it currently has a population of 681.
It is also expected to ease some of the overcrowding at the Anna Regina Secondary school.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said the aim is to ensure every child gets a high-quality of education regardless of which school they attend.
“This is our commitment to you that whichever of the eight schools you go to here on the Essequibo Coast, we are going to deliver the same quality of education,” Manickchand said.
She added, “We can make education equal….Our aim is to ensure wherever you live in this country, whether it’s on a hill top or a sea shore…whenever you live in Guyana you must be able to get a high quality education.”
Manickchand said despite being in a “bad” state physically, the Abram Zuil Secondary school was still performing well.
“This is the school that has the highest matriculation rate,” she said while adding, “so the evidence is there. It is clear that once we invest in you, you will do well wherever you are.”
Noting that Essequibo Coast has unique opportunities, Manickchand said it is the government’s duty to ensure that once students across the region enter the school system, their lives can be changed.
Meanwhile, in delivering the feature address, President Dr Irfaan Ali said with the present state, the Abram Zuil Secondary school will be ranked in the 10 percent of schools around the world.
Dr Ali pledged that the region will continue to see investment as the government continues to create economic opportunities.
To this end, he said the government is currently working on a digital programme which will see teachers being trained in Essequibo.
“The teachers now have the opportunity of becoming trained here…That means that our children would have better qualified teachers, more knowledgeable teachers, teachers who can deliver in a better way to the children. What that rebound to better results,” the President said.
He added, “So it’s a perfect marriage between physical facilities, institutional reorganisation and human resource development. That is what is driving the transformation of our education system.”
And currently, Dr Ali further noted that the government is exploring more measures as to how teachers can develop themselves so that children can benefit.
“We are on a trajectory not only to build beautiful physical facilities but ensure that we build and entire eco system surrounding our education system that is supportive of…the holistic development of our children across Guyana,” he said.
The President said Guyana has been able to achieve universal primary education because of the philosophy and policy orientation of the PPP/C Government.
And the goal now, he said, is to ensure universal secondary education is achieved by ensuring every child has access to a quality secondary education.