The Ministry of Education on Friday held a sod turning ceremony for the construction of a state-of-the-art secondary school that will provide access to quality education for students living along the East Bank Demerara corridor.
Speaking at the historic ceremony, Education Minister Priya Manickchand explained that the construction of the school will serve to eradicate some of the present challenges on the East Bank of Demerara as it relates to providing quality secondary education.
She said that presently, there are eight Secondary Departments within Primary Schools known as ‘Primary Tops’ and approximately 450 students being taught in auditoriums in three Secondary Schools on the East Bank of Demerara.
According to Manickchand, her Ministry wants to abolish these secondary departments and allow students that are being taught in less than desirable conditions to be placed in schools that will allow them to receive a high quality of education.
The Education Minister further noted that the United Nations had reported that Guyana achieved Universal Primary Education between the years 2012 to 2014 – a period when she was the EducationMinister underthe previous PPP/C Government. Now, she said that the Education Ministry is on the move to achieve Universal Secondary Education.
To achieve this milestone, Manickchand said that in 2014, the Ministry had sought and received funding from the World Bank for the Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project (GSEIP). She noted that under this project secondary schools are currently being construction at Good Hope on the East Coast of Demerara, West Minster on the West Bank of Demerara and at Yarrowkabra on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway.
Minister Manickchand noted that the approval for these schools was granted in 2014 under the GSEIP. She added that in 2015 her government left office, and upon returning five years after, in 2020, none of the schools is completed thereby affecting 3000 students who should have been placed in those schools.
The Education Minister credits the lack of progress on these projects to the lack of leadership that was at the helm of the Ministry during those years. However, she assured the parents and students present today that the Government of Guyana is committed to ensuring that the construction of the Prospect Secondary School will not suffer from lacklustre management.
Some 1000 students are expected to benefit from the construction of the Prospect Secondary School.
Meanwhile, Minister Manickchand sounding a warning to contractors, noting that if the company awarded the contract to build the school is not honouring its contractual obligations, then they will be removed to make way for another contractor that can manage the project.
Moreover, Permanent Secretary within the Education Ministry, Alfred King said the school will not only cater for the traditional classroom space but also facilities for the Allied Arts whereby there will be a studio for the performing arts, a science laboratory, a state of the art library and an Information Communication Technology (ICT) laboratory.
Meanwhile, Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson, explained that the Ministry had done the research and was able to decide on having the school constructed in the Prospect community.
Additionally, Regional Education Officer, Tiffany Harvey, said that Region Four is grateful for the addition of a secondary school, particularly one of such high standard.