Primary school officially commissioned at Swan, Linden/Soesdyke Highway

To provide equitable access to quality education to children across the region, a primary school was officially commissioned at Swan village, Soesdyke-Linden Highway, on Tuesday.

The school was commissioned by Education Minister, Priya Manickchand and Local Government, Regional Development Minister, Nigel Dharamlall, and the Regional Democratic Council of Region Four. 

Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, Local Government and Regional Development Minister, Nigel Dharamlall, and others cutting the ceremonial ribbon

Approximately $28.8 million was expended to construct the school.

Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, while delivering remarks, stated that the government will continue to deliver on its promises to ensure that all citizens have access to quality education in Guyana.

During a ministerial outreach, Minister Manickchand said that the residents requested to have a primary school built in their community. The children were traversing miles to attend schools in Kuru Kururu and Yarrowkabra.

An aerial view of Swan Primary School

“All of you here want the same thing we want for your children. You want your children to have a life of plenty. You want your children to have fewer struggles than you would have had. You want your children to be comfortable. You want your children to live a life where they could thrive in this beautiful Guyana,” she said.

The education minister told the parents that their children’s academic success depends on the support received at home.

Education Minister, Priya Manickchand being greeted by the students

“I’m telling you with us, your children can get that and your children will get that. So, let’s stay the course. You have seen the development that happens. You have seen the development that is going on in your community. We must stay that course,” the minister noted.

Additionally, Minister Dharamlall highlighted that the government remains steadfast in its efforts to ensure that all communities are developed adequately with schools and facilities with all of the amenities. 

Minister Dharamlall then urged the teachers and residents to maintain the facilities.

One of the classrooms

Region Four Regional Chairman, Daniel Seeram noted that more emphasis should be placed on decentralizing essential government services to outlying areas across the regions.

He noted that Region Four has put forward an ambitious, vibrant, and visionary programme for education in the region.

The Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke to residents who expressed gratitude for the new school in their community.  

Resident, Sherriann James said, “I’m so appreciative of this new school. At least, this is a great help to me. I mean with the finance and since he started coming to Swan school, it’s a real, great difference. At least he’s taking in his education now. For me, it really, really helps me a lot because many times, I does study if he catch the bus, he’s late. But now, he’s at home, so he can do his homework.”

Christina Alli shared similar sentiments. “My daughter, she does be on time. Normally, she used to have to catch transportation to go to school. It was very expensive. And she has improved a lot because the population in Kuru Kururu primary was a lot. So, now, it’s just like twenty kids and she’s doing really great,” she said.

Some of the parents at the ceremony

Resident, Shano Selmo said, “We appreciate the new school. And we are glad that the Minister, Priya Manickchand has decided to give us a new school.”

Winneth Calistro noted that the school in their community has been a relief for her and others.

“Well, for me, I feel overjoyed with the school. And you know, it has eased a lot of burdens. Because at times, I used to think about my children walking in the hot sun to go out and coming in,” she added.

Resident, Donna Haidakhan stated, “I am grateful to the president and to our Honourable Minister, Priya Manickchand for this great opportunity whereby we can have our own primary school in Swan. Before now, the children had to go way out in Kuru Kururu and sometimes, it used to be difficult for us, as parents. So, I must say thanks to the government.”

The school was officially opened on September 5, 2022, with 109 pupils and six teachers. Four are trained teachers while the other two are currently attending the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE). Regional Education Officer (ag), Stembiso Grant, Assistant Chief Education Officer (Primary), Rabindra Singh, Headmistress (ag), Abigale Renville, the Neighbourhood Democratic Council Chairman, Floyd Smith, Village Chairman, Finton Ragonauth, and other officials of the ministry were in attendance.