Reg. 3 ‘primary tops’ to be closed as new $93M De Willem Secondary School opens

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Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand commissioned the De Willem Secondary School in Region Three. The new school will accommodate over 350 learners.

She said that from Monday, the Primary Top students attending Saraswat Primary School will no longer have to attend a Secondary Class in a Primary School but from Monday will be attending a discrete secondary school to receive a complete secondary education.

Further, she said that there are secondary-aged learners in Lanaballi, Saxacalli, Omorashi and lower and upper Bonasika who are unable to access a secondary education who have been enrolled into Primary Tops. The Education Minister elatedly announced that either next week or the following week, those students will be attending a discrete Secondary School, the Leonora Secondary School. Those students will be housed in dormitories that have been built and are now ready to accommodate students.

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand and students cutting the ribbon to officially commission the new school (Photo: Ministry of Education/ September 15, 2023)

“So, when we say getting a secondary education is important, it’s more than just words. When we say to you that we believe education is important, you will see our actions accompanying that building out of schools, training teachers, helping parents get their kids into school, giving textbooks, giving school grants. You will see that in our action,” Minister Manickchand remarked.

Minister Manickchand explained that in addition to the De Willem Secondary School, new secondary schools will be built at Crane, Tuschen and Nismes to accommodate all of the secondary-aged learners in the region.

Moreover, Minister Manickchand said that in addition to constructing new schools, there needs to be a trained teacher in every classroom. She said that prior to 2021 the Cyril Potter College of Education accepted about 530 teachers but can now accept a few thousand teachers into the college that is now offering both online and in person instruction.

Due to the online offering, the Minister of Education said that the CPCE is now going to graduate 2500 students for the first time. She added that students are now receiving the textbooks they need and newly designed larger exercise books from the Ministry of Education.

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand and the Regional Executive Officer, Jagnarine Somwar revealing the plaque to mark the commissioning.(Photo: Ministry of Education/ September 15, 2023)

Headteacher of the Uitvlugt Secondary School, Mr. Keith Sampson who delivered the background, said that today, “we commissioned renewed purpose.”

He explained that in the past, the old building which the new structure has replaced housed the Zeeburg Secondary School. Further, he said that in 2016 a new Zeeburg Secondary School was built leaving the old structure wanting for purpose. He said that the building was later refurbished to serve as an annex to the Uitvlugt Secondary School. However, due to the visionary leadership of the Ministry of Education, a new secondary school materialized.

Meanwhile, Regional Vice-Chairperson Mr. Omesh Satyanand, said that only a few weeks ago the Region commissioned a new primary school in Tuschen. He said that the Regional Democratic Council is excited about the growth in education. He said that the region is experiencing wholistic growth especially in the education sector where more children are attending school.

Further, he referenced the School Feeding and Breakfast Programmes, the Vice-Chairperson that that the RDC is happy that children can attend school and receive breakfast or a snack. He said that the RDC is happy with the work the Ministry is doing in the region along with its officers and teachers in the classrooms. “You guys are doing a great job and that is why we are partnering with you to ensure that the delivery of education is second to none in this country,” he remarked.

Also present at today’s commission was the Regional Executive Officer, Jagnarine Somwar, the Regional Education Officer, Mr. Akbar Chindu, the Assistant Chief Education Officer (Secondary), Ms. Tiffany Harvey and the Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary), Mr. Rabindra Singh. (Ministry of Education press release)

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