STUDENTS in Karasabai and other surrounding communities in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) are set to benefit from a new school and dorm facilities being constructed at the cost of $1.7 billion.
On Tuesday, a press release from the Ministry of Education related that a contract for the new facility was inked between the Ministry of Education and the contractor, Avinash Contracting in Karasabai.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand, along with Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Alfred King; and Assistant Chief Education Officer (ACEO) for Amerindian and Hinterland Education Development, Marti DeSouza, travelled to the region to turn the sod for the construction of the school.
The project, which costs $1.7 billion, should be completed in two years’ time. The designs of the buildings were completed in November 2022 after a series of consultations.
“The modern school complex is fitted with ten buildings. These include the main teaching block and allied lecturing facilities, modern science laboratory for Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centres, combined Home Economics and cafeteria area, teachers’ quarters and an outdoor sitting forecourt,” the release stated.
Further, it was noted that the facility will be instrumental in providing more educational opportunities for students in the region and will transform the quality of their lives.
The contract for the project was signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Alfred King (seated at right) and an official of the company (Ministry of Education photo)
Once completed, the facility will house 500 students in the classroom, and 250 students in the dormitories. This means students will no longer have to traverse rough terrain daily to receive an education they rightly deserve. Students from Karasabai and all other neighbouring villages will have the opportunity to pursue a sound secondary education.
Currently, it was noted that students in the Karasabai subdistrict from communities such as Tiger Pond, Cracrana, Tsushima, Kokshebai and Yurong Paru are currently either not receiving a secondary education or are being educated in primary tops, a secondary department in a primary school.
Delivering the feature address, Minister Manickchand stated that the construction of the school is one step closer towards achieving universal education in the region. She noted that the school is intended to deliver first-class education to students in Region Nine.
“We are very certain that once we do that, you will see your children excel,” she said.
The Education Minister further noted that hinterland education delivery remains a top priority for the Ministry, and, by extension, the Government of Guyana. She highlighted that, for the first time, the Ministry appointed an officer with sole responsibility for Amerindian and Hinterland Education Development.
And ACEO DeSouza added that the development in the education sector is no longer limited to the coastland. He highlighted that the Ministry of Education has been working assiduously to close the gap between the coast and hinterland, and to achieve universal secondary education across the coun
Meanwhile, Minister Dharamlall, in his remarks, noted that delivering education to the people of Region Nine has always been on the agenda for the People’s Progressive Party Government since it assumed office. He highlighted that, in 1992, there was one secondary school in the region, and it was in St Ignatius which is more than 48 miles away from Karasabi. To date, several secondary schools have been constructed in the region.
Regional Chairman of Region Nine, Mr Bryan Allicock, stated the construction of the secondary school in Karasabai has been on the agenda and is proud to see the project become a reality. The village Toshao, Elvis Edwards, expressed thanks to the ministers for listening to the needs of the people and delivering on their promise.
MORE SCHOOLS COMING
In addition to constructing the Karasabai Secondary School, it was noted that several other schools were being constructed across the country.
These will be at Hosororo, Kwebana, and Waramuri in Region One (Barima -Waini). The North West Secondary School is currently being rebuilt after it was destroyed by arson.
In Region Two (Pomeroon- Supenaam), the Abram’s Zuil Secondary School will be completed soon. Two new schools are being built in Region Three (Essequibo Islands- West Demerara).
In Region Four (Demerara- Mahaica), the Yarrowkabra Secondary School and the Good Hope Secondary School will be completed. Additionally, the North Ruimveldt Secondary School is being rebuilt in Georgetown with extensions being carried out at the St Winifred’s and the East Ruimveldt Secondary Schools.
A secondary school will be built in Orealla, Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne). In Region Seven (Cuyuni- Mazaruni) there will be a school at Jawalla in the Upper Mazaruni. Finally, in Region Eight (Potaro- Siparuni), the dormitories at Paramakatoi and Kato will be extended.
At a previous event, Minister Manickchand explained that population growth was, in part, fuelling the construction of more schools. The government’s commitment to improving education access by building more schools is another reason for the forthcoming schools.