Latest update May 31st, 2023 3:04 PM
May 06, 2023 Letters
Kaieteur News – The Ministry of Education (MoE) takes note of the concerns raised by Mr. Sultan Mohamed in his letter captioned “Closing Enterprise and Enmore schools ill-conceived”. We wish to point out that Enterprise Primary, Paradise Primary and Enmore Primary will not be closed. What will be closed will be the Secondary Departments found in each of these primary schools. It is an unreasonable and uninformed assumption to make that three primary schools will be closed because one secondary school has been built. On the contrary, the movement of the secondary school students from the primary school buildings will allow for the primary school students to have more space thereby increasing comfort.
We wish to advise Mr. Mohamed, as he seems not to know, that a secondary department or ‘primary-top’ in a primary school is a situation in which secondary school students, usually Grades 7 to 9, are housed in a primary school building, and are taught using the secondary curriculum. This department is usually managed by a senior teacher within the primary school. This situation happens if there is not enough secondary school space to accommodate all the students who would have written the NGSA exams. One of the goals of the current Education Sector Plan is the closure of all secondary departments in primary schools.
It was recognized by the then government of Guyana in 2013-2014 that there was a need for another secondary school on the East Coast of Demerara and so the construction of Good Hope Secondary School began. The construction of this school would have meant the closure of all secondary departments in primary schools on the East Coast of Demerara. This would have meant universal secondary access throughout the entire East Coast of Demerara. Strangely, the previous government was unable to complete a 24-months project in 5 years. The current government restarted the construction of this school in the last quarter of 2022, and it will now be completed by June 30th.
Good Hope Secondary School, on completion, will be the best secondary school in the country in terms of facilities. These facilities include all TVET labs, science labs, smart classroom, library, allied arts lab (dance studio), theatre room, music room, visual arts room, 5G internet, SEN access (elevator), large discrete classrooms in terms of international standards, agriculture plot, shade house, slaughter area, etc. This school will accommodate nearly 1000 students.
It is impractical to build schools with these facilities for only 500 students. Large schools must be built to allow for economies of scale. Once large schools are built, students will have to travel. Location of schools is determined by the availability of land, census data and school mapping software. As such, we wish to assure Mr. Mohamed that this location met all these requirements and came out as the best site. Our statistics also indicate that large quantities of students travel from Enmore and further to schools in Georgetown. It is our expectation that this number can be reduced with the establishment of Good Hope Secondary School.
Good Hope Secondary was built as part of the MoE’s comprehensive effort to expand Universal Secondary Education; to ensure universal secondary access. Secondary school students at the schools identified by Mr. Mohamed are currently doing a maximum of 5 subjects. There is no choice because there is no space. At Good Hope Secondary, students will be able to choose from 34 different subject areas; 28 subjects at general proficiency and 5 subjects at technical proficiency. It is envisaged that CAPE will also be done at this school thereby removing the need for students to travel to a Georgetown school to do such.
We hope that this response provides Mr. Mohamed with the relevant information to make a more informed judgement.
Chief Education Officer
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