$2B in contracts signed for Kwebana Secondary School


Described as a school that will change lives of many and provide them with opportunities they never had, the Ministry of Education on Wednesday signed contracts amounting to $2 billion with several contractors for the construction of a secondary school at Kwebana, Region One.

The school is expected to be completed within the next seven to eight months.

The structure is designed to include a main lecture hall, science laboratories, student canteen and cafeteria, student dormitory and visitor area, teachers living quarters and fire prevention mechanisms such as metal ceilings, fire alarms, escape doors and fire-retardant panels.

It will accommodate over 600 students.

The project will be executed in six lots by different contractors.

Lots 1 and 2, which will see site development works and substructure works on the school building, was awarded to Supreme Contracting and Supplies.

Lots 3, 4, 5 and 6 will see sub structure works on the dormitory and teacher’s quarters, external works and finishing works being executed by Bree’s Enterprise, AS Construction and Singh and Son Construction.

The signing ceremony was held at the Ministry of Education’s boardroom at Brickdam, Georgetown.

Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said the school is being built in keeping with the Ministry’s promise to make universal secondary education accessible to all.

“…Every year it’s a bit of a hassle trying to place children even on the coast. In Georgetown we have so many placement problems with overcrowding and schools having to go on rotation and shifts.

“…And in places like Region 1,7, 8 and 9 we don’t even have schools that children can go to. They end up going to primary schools for a secondary-type education which is not premium. So, we embarked on a very aggressive programme to give access to all children, all across Guyana secondary education,” she explained.

A layout of the new Kwebana Secondary school.

Manickchand warned the contractors that they are likely to face penalties if they fail to get the project done in keeping with the eight month deadline.

“Again this was divided into six lots because we want simultaneous work happening at the same time,” she said.

“If you can’t do it according to your contractual terms we are going to have to apply liquated damages”.

Pointing out the importance of the school to the region, Manickchand said the children in the Kwebana area attend a primary school and there are no trained secondary teachers.

“…There are children in various rivers…where they are just literally marking time in primary schools until they age out. So, we need these schools to be able to offer quality education. It’s going to change lives…and give people opportunities they never have before,” Manickchand said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alfred King said the Kwebana secondary school will be one of the most advanced and complex schools within the education sector.

“This is a huge undertaken. We cannot afford slippages by the contractors… there cannot be any compromise here for performance,” King said.

Over the past weeks, billions of dollars of contracts were signed by the Ministry for the construction of several other secondary schools across the country.

Upon completion, these structures are expected to address the issue of overcrowding faced in many schools.

A number of new schools were also recently commissioned including the Good Hope Secondary school and the Abram Zuil Secondary school.

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