Temporary placements for students at incomplete Good Hope Secondary School

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The incomplete Good Hope Secondary School

Some 195 students who were placed at the incomplete Good Hope Secondary school on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), after writing the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) 2020, now have temporary placements at schools in Georgetown and along the ECD.

To this end, 68 students have been placed at the Bladen Hall Multilateral Secondary; 65 at Annandale Secondary; 40 at Cummings Lodge Secondary, and five learners will be going to Hope Secondary School, all along the East Coast Demerara.

Fourteen students have been placed at the Christ Church Secondary School and three at the North Georgetown Secondary in Georgetown.

Despite this, some parents appealed to have their children stay at the Good Hope school and be engaged virtually since the COVID-19 measures have forced school closures.

The Minister said steps will be taken to facilitate this within two weeks’ time, and consultations will be done with the Teaching Service Commission to have a designated teacher.

For students without internet access, Minister Manickchand is consulting with the Regional Chairman of Region Four, Mr. Daniel Seeram, to have some systems put in place.

Mr. Seeram said existing ICT Hubs will be retooled for this purpose, as the Council pursues other means of internet connectivity for the affected students.

Additionally, the Ministry has said parents of students in temporary placements would not need to incur expenses for registration fees, uniforms and badges.

This was communicated to the more than 100 parents of the students by Minister of Education Priya Manickchand, who requested to have the meeting on Monday to provide an update on the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) plans for the institution.

From the outset, the Education Minister expressed her dissatisfaction owing to the fact that the school was meant to be completed in January of this year.

She told parents she understands their frustration that their children worked hard and were awarded places at this Grade ‘A’ institution but cannot attend.

Minister Manickchand told the parents that the school is now set to be completed by August 2021. The school is 75% completed to date.

Notwithstanding, she indicated that when completed, the 195 students will have the first preference to attend if they so desire.

Providing an overview of the rationale for the building of the school, Minister Manickchand told parents that in 2014 her government recognised that there was a need to provide universal secondary education for students across the country.

During the cordial and informative discourse, the Education Minister told the parents that the funding for this school was secured in 2015 and students should have been benefitting by now. The construction of the school is being funded by the World Bank through the Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project (GSEIP).

During the discussion, a parent Vibert Adams said that the MoE and the Minister of Education should be commended for such an initiative since he was not sure of what the state of affairs was in relation to the unfinished structure.

Representation was also made for additional entrances to the community since there is only one bridge that leads into the Good Hope community. Regional Chairman for Region Four Mr Daniel Seeram who was present assured that he will consult with the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) to ensure that these concerns are addressed and necessary infrastructural works can commence.

The $857M Good Hope Secondary School when completed will accommodate 800 students.

The school will have as part of its outfit, classrooms that cater to students with disabilities. There will be modern Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) departments for Home Economics, Home Management and Clothing and Textile. Added to the aforementioned departments, there will be an Information Technology, Mathematics, Language and Audio Visual laboratories.

The school will also house Biology, Chemistry and Physics labs. A Unit of Allied Arts, a modern Library, a multi-purpose hall and a modern administration block will complete this spanking new structure. The school is being built by BK Construction Inc. with Deen and Partners/ SRKN Engineering as the consulting firm.

Also attending the meeting was the MoE’s Permanent Secretary Mr Alfred King, the Chief Education Officer Dr Marcel Hutson, the Regional Education Officer for Region Four Ms Tiffany Harvey, the Deputy Chief Education Officer (Development) Ms Volika Jaikishun, the Superintendent of Examination Ms Saudia Kadir, the Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary) Mr Rabindra Singh, the Assistant Chief Education Officer- Secondary Mr Amir Ali and other senior Education officials. (Extracted and Modified from DPI)