The new Arthurville Primary School on the island of Wakenaam in the Essequibo River was commissioned earlier today by President Dr Irfaan Ali and Education Minister Priya Manickchand.
Back in May 2022, the Education Minister visited the island to meet with parents of learners attending the school to address their concerns about the deteriorating building.
At the time, Minister Manickchand told the parents that a new and modern structure would be built at the same location. In February of this year, a contract for the sum of $84M was awarded to rebuild the school.
According to Manickchand, the idea is to equip people across the country with opportunities to allow them to thrive and utilize their full potential.
The new building has eight classrooms, a reading room, an IT laboratory, a kitchen, a staff room and a sick bay. Each classroom is also equipped with a smart screen.
The school now accommodates some 62 students in a comfortable environment.
At the commissioning ceremony, President Ali emphasised that the government will continue to invest in Guyanese to improve their lives in all areas and produce significant results. He also highlighted the critical role of education in building the Guyana of the future.
“This is where we give the children the hope of a brighter tomorrow. We are going to build the best possible future for you. We are going to build a prosperous future. One in which you will be better off today. One in which you will fully accomplish your aspirations. One in which your country will not be found wanting to deliver to you the best possible country we can deliver to you,” the president said.
As the government continues to work assiduously to transform Guyana, Dr Ali explained that every citizen has benefitted from the budget within the last three years.
“Since we came into government, every single citizen of Wakenaam, we have invested almost $4.5 million per resident. When we look at what we have spent on healthcare, roads, social infrastructure, children, schools, D&I, sea defence and the new solar farm that we will complete next year…What does it bring to you? It brings a better school for your children,” the Head of State noted.
The government has expended some $51 million through the education cash grant to children in the last three years. President Ali also spoke about the massive water treatment plant project costing more than $850 million to provide potable water to many households, which is scheduled to commence next year.
By 2025, the government will be spending some $6 million or more on each resident in Wakenaam and other communities. The community will also benefit from other developments, such as a $2.5 million project to upgrade the Arthurville Community Ground.
In 2023, more than 20 teachers’ living quarters have been constructed and expanded throughout the country.
Meanwhile, Minister Manickchand underscored that the President Ali-led government remains keen on providing the necessary investments to strengthen the education sector for Guyanese to thrive and compete in the world.
“Once we promise it, we will deliver it, not only in schools but regarding your healthcare, livelihood and physical infrastructure in the country… That is how we serve. We see educational advancements all across the region,” she pointed out.
The education minister also highlighted that the school performed extremely well at this year’s National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).
Regional Chairman, Ayube Inshan, Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary), Rabindra Singh, and Headteacher of Arthurville Primary, Gita Dudnath-Romotar also delivered brief remarks. (Extracted and Modified from DPI)