Region 1 to get US$832,000 vocational training facility

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Permanent Secretary Alfred King receiving one of the signed documents on Friday from the contractor in the presence of Education Minister Education Priya Manickchand

A US$832,883 contract was signed on Friday for the expansion of the North West Secondary School’s Practical Instruction Department (PID) in Mabaruma, Region One (Barima-Waini).

With this expansion and the improved PID, the school will be able to offer the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) Level one and two training in five occupational areas while more will be added in the future. The five areas are Commercial food preparation, Motor vehicle repairs (cars and light trucks), Electrical installation, Furniture making/carpentry and joinery and Home Economics. The CVQ is recognised in the Caribbean Region thereby making students also marketable within CARICOM.

The Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said today at the contract signing ceremony that the Ministry plans to develop and enhance what is offered at the Technical Vocational level. She said that to do this, the right facilities need to be available.

She said that this project will the residents of the North-West District the ability to become more employable and to develop themselves through the usage of the facility.

Minister Manickchand said that programmes such as this are important in communities where there is lower interest in students to obtain the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). She said that the Ministry is trying to ensure that students in these communities can still leave school with qualifications that will make them employable.

With this being another contract signed between the Ministry and a contractor, Minister Manickchand reiterated her government’s position on contractors failing to complete projects according to contractual obligations. “It is not because we like to quarrel that we ask for quality work delivered in a timely manner, it is because if you don’t give us that, you are robbing children, students and people of what we promise them we will be able to deliver,” the Education Minister noted.

Minister Manickchand said that some of the projects that are currently lagging in the Ministry that have caused the nation’s young people to suffer include the St. Rose’s High School, the Good Hope Secondary School and the Yarrowkabra Secondary School. She said that if contractors cannot honour their obligations, their contracts will be terminated.

The contract for this expansion was awarded to International Import and Supplies and is expected to be completed in 12 months while the consultancy firm is Caribbean Engineering and Management Consultants Inc.

This project is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Guyana through the Guyana Skills Development and Employability Project (GSDEP). The project is aimed at improving the Ministry’s capacity to deliver Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes equitably across the sector.