Temporary placements for NGSA cohort for Good Hope Secondary

One hundred and ninety-five students who attained marks to attend the Good Hope Secondary School after writing the 2020 National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) now have temporary placements at schools in Georgetown and along the East Coast Demerara.

Minister of Education, Hon. Priya Manickchand announced this decision today at a meeting with parents and guardians in the school’s multipurpose hall.

“The consultants are saying to us that at this pace, along with these numbers of workers, if we continue, the school is going to finish in August of 2021,” Minster Manickchand explained.  “We have to place your children in other schools to be able to allow them some kind of engagement until we can place them in this school”.

To this end, 68 students have been placed at the Bladen Hall Multilateral Secondary; 65 at Annandale Secondary; 40 at Cummings Lodge Secondary, and five learners will be going to Hope Secondary School, all along the East Coast Demerara.

Fourteen students have been placed at the Christ Church Secondary School and three at the North Georgetown Secondary in Georgetown.

Despite this, some parents appealed to have their children stay at the Good Hope school and be engaged virtually since the COVID-19 measures have forced school closures.  The Minister said steps will be taken to facilitate this within two weeks’ time, and consultations will be done with the Teaching Service Commission to have a designated teacher.

For students without internet access, Minister Manickchand is consulting with the Regional Chairman of Region Four, Mr. Daniel Seeram, to have some systems put in place.

Mr. Seeram said existing ICT Hubs will be retooled for this purpose, as the Council pursues other means of internet connectivity for the affected students.

Additionally, the Ministry has said parents of students in temporary placements would not need to incur expenses for registration fees, uniforms and badges.

The Good Hope School is an A-Grade and A-List school designed to absorb 1,000 students from Plaisance to Victoria.  The design includes 26 classrooms; a library block, a math centre; a block for home economics, clothing and textiles, and food and nutrition; art; science and IT labs; a block for Technical and Vocational Training, as well as a dance school.

Since the PPP/C’s return to office, Minister Manickchand has said the slothfulness in the construction of the Good Hope Secondary School is unacceptable. The design and funds for the project was secured in 2014 under the Guyana Secondary School Education Improvement Project (GSEIP). It was one of two schools to be built in keeping with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Four to provide access to universal secondary education in Guyana, by establishing schools in areas which had none.

The Minister said the APNU+AFC failed to ensure the completion of the project during its five-year tenure as   the school is only 74 per cent complete.  It is one of three schools the Coalition left unfinished.

The Minister said the contract held by B.K. International would be terminated if it continues at the current pace.

Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson, and Permanent Secretary Mr. Alfred King were among other Ministry officials present today.