Good Hope Secondary School completion date is now May 22

-All ECD Primary Tops to be closed when the school is completed
-Min. Manickchand stresses importance of contract obligations

Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand said she is hopeful that the Good Hope Secondary School will be completed to accommodate students in September 2021.

During a visit to the school today, Minister Manickchand told DPI the longer the contractor takes to complete the school, 1,000 children are forced to be educated at other institutions that are not ideally equipped to deliver secondary education.

Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand

“This school, once it is completed, will allow us to close all the primary tops on the East Coast of Demerara. If you know what a primary top is, it is a primary school where children who finished their primary education, cannot get into a secondary school because there is no space. So, they stay at that primary school and do secondary work. You know that is highly undesirable, the environment won’t be right, the mindset of the children or the teachers won’t be right.”

Minister Manickchand said it is evident when primary tops are closed and students are placed in secondary schools, it produces results.

She noted that the contractor, BK International Incorporated has now given a new deadline, May 22, 2021 to complete the school.

As there have been many deadlines given by the contractor, Minister Manickchand warned the contractor and all others, that contracts must be upheld.

Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand examines the Chemistry Lab under construction at Good Hope Secondary School

“We must insist of our service providers and contractors and consultants and workers that when a contract is entered it must be honoured because when people bid for the schools, they bid and say we can do this school at this cost for this time…we must begin to be a country that honours our commitments when we make them, that no less would be expected especially as it relates to educational facilities.”

Meanwhile, Chief Engineer at BK International Incorporated, Mr. Ganesh Sawh said the major work remaining on the school is the electrical installation.

“All the components for the electrical had to be imported, it’s not available locally. So, we had to import that and one of the problems we had is cash flow.”

He claimed that about 95 per cent of the work on the school has been completed, but the company has only received 45 per cent of the contract amount.

Chief Engineer at BK International Incorporated, Mr. Ganesh Sawh

However, Minister Manickchand highlighted that money cannot be disbursed to the company as it has no contractor’s bond.

The US$4 million state-of-the-art Good Hope Secondary, funded by the World Bank through the Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project (GSEIP), was scheduled to be completed in January 2020.

When completed, the A grade school is expected to have 26 classrooms, a library, a block for home economics, clothing and textiles, food and nutrition, art, science and IT labs, as well as, a block for Technical and Vocational Training.

The almost $1 billion Westminster Secondary School, Parfaite Harmonie, was recently completed and on February 6, the sod was turned at the site for the Prospect Secondary School. Both schools are also part of the GSEIP.