Press release – Ministry of Education takes control of Yarowkabra Secondary School site as contractor finally vacates location
(November 20, 2020) – On January 7, 2020, the Ministry of Education signed an $826.7M contract with BK International Incorporated for the construction of the Yarowkabra Secondary School. The school is intended to benefit 600 children in Yarowkabra and neighbouring communities along the Linden Highway. The state of the art school was scheduled to be completed in March 2021.
However, as of today, the school is only 5 per cent completed. This means that the school will not be finished in accordance with the contractual deadline.
The effect of this unreasonable delay is that the 600 students who are to benefit from the school and its modern facilities will be forced to travel long distances to attend other secondary schools or to be placed in the Primary Top departments of some primary schools, which is a practice the Ministry of Education plans to stop.
Recognising the slothful pace at which the construction was taking place, the Honourable Minister of Education Priya Manickchand had engaged the contracted company and pleaded repeatedly for the firm to put itself in order and devise a new work plan that would see it completing the school within the stipulated time.
Further, the Consultant on the project, Vikab Engineering Consultants Limited had advised BK International Inc. to employ additional staff so that more work can get done.
Hence, BK International Inc. was given a second opportunity to make things right so that the nation’s children can benefit from what they deserve, a modern facility to enable them to achieve their dreams.
However, this among other suggestions were unheeded and the Government of Guyana was forced to terminate the contract with the company due to the inordinate delays in the completion of the works.
On November 1, 2020, the Attorney General and the Honourable Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall wrote BK International Inc. informing the entity that the contract was terminated with immediate effect. He noted that the company had committed a fundamental breach of the terms of the contract and as a result, the Government of Guyana exercised its right to terminate the contract.
In the said letter, the contractor was advised to remove all machinery and equipment from the site.
On November 10, 2020, the Consultancy firm visited the site and observed that the company was still progressing with works despite the contract being terminated.
In a letter dated November 11, 2020, the Consultancy firm wrote the Manging Director of BK International Inc, Mr. Brian Tiwari informing him that pursuant to Clause 40.5 [Termination] “the contractor is to stop the works immediately, make the site safe and secure and leave the site as soon as reasonably possible.”
In that letter, the Consultants instructed the Contractor to stop works immediately and advised that any work done or materials ordered beyond the date of termination, November 1, 2020, is done at the contractor’s own risk.
On November 19, 2020, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education Mr. Alfred King wrote B.K International Inc. instructing the company that all work come to a halt with immediate effect and the project site be vacated within twenty-four hours.
The letters mentioned above that followed the termination of the contract were necessary as the contractor had refused to vacate the site.
As of today, the contractor is no longer on site. The Ministry has installed its own security after taking possession of the site with the help of the enforcement arm of the state. The Government of Guyana wishes to advise that any unauthorized person found removing materials from the site will be prosecuted accordingly.