– New dorms earmarked to increase access to secondary education
The number of students residing in government funded dormitories will increase significantly in the next three years as plans to expand access to secondary education are being pushed ahead.
This disclosure was made by Education Minister Shaik Baksh at a recent workshop for Dorm Parents held at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD).
According to the Ministry of Education, currently some 2,500 students are occupying state-run dormitories throughout the country. In Region One, construction and extension of dormitory facilities will be carried out at Port Kaituma, Santa Rosa, Hosororo, Wauna and Kwebana to house an average of 289 students.
A new dorm will be constructed at Charity, Region Two, to house some 30 students per year from 10 communities and the facility at Wakapoa will be extended to cater for approximately 25 students yearly from five communities.
The Region Three Administration has also proposed the construction of a dormitory facility at Parika- Salem to cater for an average intake of 69 pupils per year from 15 communities. The Region Six Administration has similar proposals for facilities at the New Amsterdam and Skeldon High secondary schools to accommodate around 220 students.
In Region Seven, the facilities at Waramdong and Bartica secondary schools are earmarked to be extended to cater for an additional 200 students.
Similarly, in Region Eight, additional spaces in the form of a school with dormitory facility is required in sub-region One to accommodate an average of 50 students annually for the next five years.
Region Nine caters for over 1100 students in three secondary schools located in three of the five sub-districts. The schools, Annai, Aishalton and St. Ignatius secondary, cater for the accommodation needs of its student. During this academic year, budgetary allocation was made available to facilitate the extension of the dormitory at the Annai Secondary School.
It is expected that this facility will cater for approximately 60 students from the South Pakaraimas and outlying areas in the North Rupununi.
The last academic years, Aishalton Secondary School was housing 101 students in its dormitory facility. Currently, there are 130 students housed in this
facility. An extension of this facility is not recommended, because construction is currently underway at the new Sand Creek Secondary School.
It is hoped that the dormitory facility at this school will assist in mitigating the growing population in the dorm at Aishalton.
The St. Ignatius Secondary School is currently housing 146 students and is fully utilizing the space provided but the dorm facilities at Amelia’s Ward and Kwakwani Park in Region 10 which were built to accommodate 90 and 80 students respectively are underutilised.
Government is also looking at providing transportation services in the form of three buses and four 15-horsepower (HP) boats to transport 173 students daily from 11 communities in Region One and the procurement of a 45-75Hp Boat for Region Five to transport 30 students daily from three riverain communities to the Mahaicony Secondary School.
Baksh pointed out that Guyana has already achieved Universal Primary and Secondary Education and the government is moving in this direction to ensure that every child both at the primary and secondary levels not only enjoy access to education but also receives a quality education.
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