$31.7M approved for furniture, equipment at Zeelugt, Arthurville Primary schools

The Parliamentary Committee of Supply on Tuesday approved some $31.7 million to purchase new furniture and equipment for the Arthurville and Zeelugt Primary schools in Region Three.

The money is part of the $24 billion in supplementary funding which was approved by the National Assembly.

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand

Responding to a question posed by Opposition Member of Parliament, Natasha Singh-Lewis, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand stressed the need for the procurement of furniture and equipment.

Minister Manickchand reminded those present about the spanking new $84 million Arthurville Primary School that was commissioned in November on Wakenaam Island, accommodating some 62 pupils.

The school was reconstructed to replace the old building, which was in a deplorable state.

“While we were able to use back some of the furniture in the process, we had to replace some, as well as put in for the first time something the school has never had, furniture for the TVET lab, computer lab, and all the other facilities that are currently in that nice school,” Minister Manickchand emphasised.

Additionally, she highlighted that the Zeelugt Primary School was in a terrible state when she visited there a few years ago.

While there, a commitment was made to reconstruct the school which was done through the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).

“And while the estimates catered for the physical infrastructure, the region, perhaps, didn’t think it through and didn’t cater for furniture. We have now changed how we are building schools…We are putting in the entire Bill of Quantities, the buildings as well as what would be needed to furnish. And that is what people are bidding on through public bid processes,” the minister explained.

The contract, totalling some $152 million was inked in May 2022 for the construction of Zeelugt Primary School. The facility will ensure over 500 children are placed in an environment conducive to learning.