New Good Hope Secondary school to be completed by June 2023

-as US $2.6M contract signed

The Education Ministry signed the US $2.6 million contract with local contractor Deen + Partners, for the completion of the Good Hope Secondary school by June 30, 2023.

Education Minister, Priya Manickchand

The contract signing was done at the ministry’s 21 Brickdam, Georgetown boardroom on Friday.

The construction of the Good Hope Secondary falls under the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP).

(from left) Principal Contractor of Deen + Partners, Deen Kamaludeen, Chief Education Officer Saddam Hussain, Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, and Permanent Secretary, Alfred King

The SEIP, funded by the World Bank, aims to strengthen the capacity of secondary school teachers and increase enrollment in general secondary schools in targeted regions, to achieve universal secondary education.

The unfinished Good Hope Secondary school

The school was left incomplete after the previous contractor, BK International, failed to complete construction within the stipulated time, despite being allowed several deadline extensions.

The unfinished Good Hope Secondary school

Additionally, various contractors were considered throughout the procurement process. However, a decision was made back in September to enter into a management/EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) Contract with Deen + Partners, who were the Supervisory Consultants for the school’s construction.

The unfinished Good Hope Secondary school

This means sub-contractors may be employed by Deen + Partners.

Friday’s contract will see the installation of electrical panels and cables required to complete electrical connections, the installation and connection of all plumbing fittings and fixtures, and the completion of the school’s fence.

The unfinished Good Hope Secondary school

Also, the pavements, walkways and landscaping, general finishes to windows, doors, roofs, walls and ceilings; as well as the completion of all built-in furniture, repainting of the entire facility, and remedial works to all floors of the school will be completed.

The unfinished Good Hope Secondary school

“Good Hope Secondary is the school that we intended, on the East Coast of Demerara, to help us achieve universal secondary education. By that, we mean that one, children who have no place right now can get into a school, and two, that we can close all the primary tops on the East Coast of Demerara,” Education Minister, Priya Manickchand explained at the signing.

A primary top, she elaborated, is a primary school utilised for the teaching of secondary school work to secondary-school-aged students in the absence of a secondary school.

The unfinished Good Hope Secondary school

“That is not proper education. It is the last resort that any country should ever go to,” she said.

The completion of the Good Hope Secondary school will allow for the closure of the Paradise, Enterprise, and Enmore primary tops.

It will also reduce overcrowding at the Cummings Lodge, Bladen Hall, Golden Grove, and Plaisance Secondary schools.

Minister Manickchand noted that some 92 students who were placed at Good Hope Secondary in 2020, currently occupy spaces at other schools until their school’s completion.

She urged the contractor to ensure that the construction works being done at the school are completed by the given deadline.

The minister noted that it is important in the delivery of education to students of the East Coast of Demerara.

“We cannot do this to the children of the East Coast any longer. It is a sin. What happened here is really sinful,” she expressed.

The Good Hope Secondary school is a Grade-A facility (i.e., a large school), which will fall into the B-list category (the second-highest tier of education).

It is a state-of-the-art facility, which will contain an administrative block for school staff and a guidance counsellor.

It will also boast, when completed, a multi-purpose hall for large gatherings and indoor sports, a canteen, and fully-equipped Home Economics and Technical and Vocational Educational Training (TVET) buildings for skills-based learning.

The new school will also feature Chemistry, Physics and Biology laboratories, and an Allied Arts Department, which caters for the Music and Visual Arts, as well as a dance studio.

It will see some 1,000 students attending the school, 479 will begin immediately after completion.