Education projects in Region Nine remain incomplete

Dear Editor,

In late 2016 four capital projects in Region Nine were awarded to a coastland contractor. These projects are the construction of Tabatinga Nursery School in the Municipality of Lethem, Baishaidrun Nursery School in the Deep South Rupununi, Pipang Nursery School in the South Pakaraimas and the five-apartment teachers’ living quarters in Sand Creek in South Central Rupununi.  Each project was costed at approximately $18M.

It is public knowledge that the awarded contractor sub-contracted these capital projects. The stipulated month of completion was May, 2017. Checks and follow-ups were made by the Public Works Standing Committee of the Regional Democratic Council of Region Nine as the work  progressed.

It has been revealed that the awarded contractor had received final payments for the said projects, pending 10% retention, yet all four capital projects remain incomplete.

Editor, the opening of the new nursery schools and teachers’ quarters, respectively, in the new school academic year in September, 2017 is highly anticipated by parents, teachers and pupils and the collective disappointment is indescribable.

I call on the subject minister and relevant authorities, since they have promised transparency and accountability on public spending, to intervene forthwith in this matter so that the nursery schools and teachers’ quarters are completed at the earliest for the beneficiaries.

Editor, of major note and immense concern, is the fact that the Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs and fourth Vice-President recently visited Sand Creek village but chose to turn a blind eye to the incomplete and stalled teachers’ five-apartment construction.

The people of Region Nine have seen and noted that government ministers frequently visit, lecture and make pronouncements, with none addressing villagers’ needs and concerns, or finding solutions to their existing problems. Instead they choose to make glowing remarks in praise of the “Good life” the people now enjoy.

Some persons may be enjoying ‘the good life’, but at the level of the communities, it is a different reality.

Yours faithfully,

Alister Charlie, MP

Region Nine

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