As part of eradicating some of the present challenges on the East Bank of Demerara (EBD) in relation to providing quality secondary education, a state-of-the-art Secondary School will be built at the village Prospect, EBD.
The sod was turned on Friday (today) at the site where the Prospect Secondary School will serve to provide access to quality education at the secondary level for students living along the EBD corridor.
Minister of Education, Priya Manickchan, at the historic ceremony stated that presently there are eight (8) Secondary Departments within Primary Schools known as ‘Primary Tops’ and approximately 450 students being taught in auditoriums in three Secondary Schools on the EBD.
She explained that the Education Ministry wants to abolish these secondary departments and allow students that are being taught in less than desirable conditions to be placed in schools that will allow them to receive a high quality of education.
According to a press release from the Ministry of Education, Minister Manickchand noted that the United Nations had reported that Guyana achieved Universal Primary Education between the years 2012 to 2014.
As such, she said that the Ministry of Education is on the move to achieve Universal Secondary Education.
She explained that in 2014, the Ministry of Education sought and received funding from the World Bank for the Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project (GSEIP) and that under this project the Secondary schools that are currently under construction at Good Hope on the East Coast of Demerara, West Minster on the West Bank of Demerara and at Yarrowkabra on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway in addition to the school that will be built at Prospect.
The approval for these schools was granted in 2014 under the GSEIP.
The Education Minister posited that her Government is committed to ensuring that the construction of the Prospect Secondary School will not suffer from “lacklustre management.”
According to the statement, it is the hope that the entities that will bid to be awarded the contract to construct the school are persons that are “patriotic and understand the importance of the school to the 1000 students it will accommodate.”
Sounding a warning to contractors, Minister Manickchand said that if the company awarded the contract to build the school is not honouring its contractual obligations, they will be removed to make way for another company that can manage the project.
Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Education, Alfred King, said that this project will be moving the Ministry closer to realising Universal Access to Secondary Education.
He said that this project will complement the similar projects at Good Hope and Westminster and that this school not only caters for the traditional classroom space but also facilities catering for the Allied Arts where there will be a studio for the performing arts, a science laboratory, a state of the art library and an Information Communication Technology (ICT) laboratory.
Additionally, the Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson during his remarks said that today’s ceremony was significant in the calendar of events for the Ministry.
He said that the Ministry of Education had done the research and was able to decide on having the school constructed in the Prospect community and noted that the construction of this institution is being driven by the Ministry’s Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025.
Dr. Hutson added that such a project is founded on the pillars of the Sustainable Development Goal Four; Access, Quality, Equity and Lifelong Learning.