Ministry of Education, Guyana

Monday, 11 August 2014 08:39

Region 3 poised to achieve Universal Secondary Education

The Ministry of Education is well on its way to achieving Universal Secondary Education in Region 3 (Essequibo Islands/West Demerara) as it was announced that works will begin on the expansion of the West Demerara Secondary School, the rehabilitation of the Zeeburg Secondary School and the construction of a new school in Parfait Harmonie to house 1,000 students.
This was disclosed during a visit to the West Demerara Secondary School on Thursday by Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand.

The discussions engaged parents on the school’s extension project and their full participation so as to ensure quality work.
The official handing over of the contract to the school was done on Thursday and the works will be completed within five months. After which there will be a six-month grace period, where persons will monitor how the building is functioning.
The $22.6M extension project was contracted to Vision and General Contracting Services, and will accommodate six additional class rooms. The two-storey building will have corridors on both floors and will cater for disabled students as well. Presently, West Demerara Secondary has a complement of 32 teachers, 19 classrooms that house 650 students. It is equipped with a science laboratory, home economics department, and technical drawing, woods and electronics rooms and a library. The school offers more than 23 subjects at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) examinations.
During the meeting, the mode of distribution of the $10,000 cash grant and the automatic promotion system were discussed.
It was unanimously agreed that the grant should be paid through the banking system since that will be more accessible to almost all residents. Manickchand took the opportunity to enlighten the parents that this grant will be available sometime in mid-October since the process of obtaining the number of students will be dependent on the registration of the new school year. It is somewhat worrisome to parents that some students even though they would have performed badly during the school year are promoted to which the minister responded that the Ministry is currently in discussions over this system.
Ms. Manickchand related also that having provided the necessary infrastructure, the Government of Guyana is now focusing on how to improve participation and the quality of education delivered, therefore, the Ministry sees it as the right time for the implementation of several programmes and policies targeting these areas.
“Education is extremely important to the PPP Government and we know that if Guyana is to advance and progress it’s to invest in you and we believe every investment in our children is an investment in our dear land of Guyana, and that is why we have no problem plugging (money) into the sector and helping parents,” Ms, Manickchand emphasised.
“The PPP/C promises that we will continue to look after you and your children. We will continue to invest in you and we look forward sincerely to your support where necessary,” she said.
Expansion work is expected to take place at several educational institutions and work has started on the Friendship Secondary School, East Bank Demerara, which is expected to be completed on February 25, 2015. A new secondary school is currently being constructed at Kato, Region 8 (Potaro/Siparuni), while Lusignan in Region 4 and other areas will also benefit from similar infrastructure.
Already, Regions 2, 4, 5 and 10 have achieved this status, while Regions 1, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are set to achieve this goal by the end of 2015.


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