Jun 22, 2023 News
Kaieteur News – All primary tops on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) have been closed as President Irfaan Ali on Wednesday commissioned a brand new $1.3 billion secondary school at Good Hope.
The project falls under the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP) and is being funded by the World Bank. The President was joined yesterday by Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, Minister within the Ministry of Local Government, Anand Persaud, senior officers at the Ministry of Education and other government officials and representatives from the World Bank at the ceremony.
Delivering the keynote address, President Ali stated his government will continue to make investment in the education sector so as to ensure every child has the opportunity to receive an education. He noted that as the country is focusing on achieving universal secondary education for all. He said secondary education is also preparing children for lifelong experiences. “The secondary school system is not only about physical infrastructure, not all about CSEC and CAPE, the secondary school system is a streaming system and not a streaming system intended for only CSEC purposes, it’s a streaming system for lifelong experiences and that is where a lot of focus must be on too,” he noted.
World Bank Country Representatives to Guyana and Suriname, Diletta Dorettie said that this is one of the schools which has been designed and contracted under the Guyana SEIP and is one of the Bank’s financed projects. She noted that the Bank is a development partner for the Government of Guyana, and the education agenda especially the secondary education.
According to her, through this project the World Bank is supporting the government goals of ensuring universal secondary education across the country. “To achieve this goal is to take a holistic approach, so building school is very important but at the same time it is very important to train teachers, and well prepared students in a conducive environment,” she said.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand yesterday announced that with the completion of this school, the East Coast area have achieved universal secondary education. She said too that this will allow her ministry to close the Paradise, Enterprise and the Enmore Primary Top schools. Further, the Minister said the Good Hope Secondary will also help in reducing overcrowding at the Cummings Lodge, Bladen Hall, Golden Grove and the Plaisance Secondary Schools. Kaieteur News had reported that the construction of the school was started in 2018 and fully completed this year after delays in works. The Ministry back in December 2022 had signed a US$2,607,879 engineering, procurement and construction/turnkey new contract for the completion of the Good Hope Secondary School.
The contract was signed between the Ministry of Education and DEEN+ Partners. The original contract to construct the Good Hope Secondary School was awarded in 2018 to B.K. International for US$4,082,506 ($840M). Work commenced on October 15, 2018, with the original completion date being January 14, 2020.
However, the firm was unable to deliver despite benefiting from four extensions given on March 10, 2020, May 18, 2020, June 15, 2020, and August 17, 2020 respectively. B.K. International’s contract was terminated on May 25, 2021. This publication understands that the spanking new building will be able to accommodate approximately 1000 students come September 2023, it would have 25 classrooms, along with three Information Technology laboratories, a large library, a multi-purpose hall, canteen, fully equipped Home Economics and TVET building, dance studio among other departments.
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