Minister of Education Priya Manickchand yesterday, commissioned the extension to the Fort Wellington Secondary School in Region Five.
Minister Manickchand said that the commissioning of the annex at Fort Wellington is the first in a series of commissioning exercises planned for brand new and newly renovated schools within the region.
She explained that the access to a suitable education has been top priority for the Government.
“We have a lot of celebratory work to do in the region…The government had promised at the last elections, that before the end of our first term in office we would have acquired universal secondary education.
“I have to tell you, that your region has acquired that kind of education system, where every appropriate age level student has access to secondary education.”
The Minister said that more emphasis will be placed on providing quality education to every school aged child.
“We are looking to do more this term… At Mahaicony we bought a speedboat and bus for the students to travel to school… It’s not always about building a school but it’s how we can get our children to come from the riverain areas to go to school.
“The schools are available but we may have to provide transportation; that what’s we’ve been doing.”
Ms Manickchand explained that the Fort Wellington extension exercise was delayed due to poor performance and deliberate setbacks. The project should have been completed in January.
The Minister called on the contractors to do that which was specified in the agreements for every government building/extension project.
She challenged the students and teachers at Fort Wellington to boost the academic performance of the school.
“This burden is on your shoulders now, to show us that once we give you the space and material you need, you’ll do well.”
Head teacher of the Fort Wellington Secondary School, Ms. Yvonne Walters, was satisfied with the new wing of the institution.
“When I was promoted to this school as Headteacher in September 2011, I met with the problem of overcrowding in the classrooms. Hence the staff and student body of Fort Wellington secondary is so happy to be afforded an extension to the existing building.”
Ms. Walter said that Fort Wellington’s student population is rapidly growing.
“We are therefore asking the relevant authorities to enclose the bottom flat of the new wing.”
Region’s Five Education Officer (REO), Owen Pollard, told the gathering of students and teachers that the completion is testament to development in the education system.
“A few years ago, we were looking a lot at primary education today we speaking about universal secondary education … Education is one of the key means to eradicate poverty.“
He assured the gathering that plans are underway for the further extension of the school.
The extended flat of the school costs approximately $16 million. The new annex has the capacity to accommodate 150 students.
Besides the regular school curriculum, Fort Wellington currently has a voluntary mentoring programme, a family life and health education programme and a health club.
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