Two contracts, totalling US$8,878,102.47, were signed on Monday for the construction of the Westminster Secondary School, on the West Bank of Demerara, and the Good Hope Secondary School on the East Coast of Demerara.
According to a Ministry of Education (MoE) press release, Minister of Education Nicolette Henry, in a ceremony that took place in the boardroom of the Ministry of Education, urged the contractors to ensure that the schools are built within the standards and expectations of the Ministry of Education so that the new facilities can properly serve the nation’s children and Guyana.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education Adele Clarke, the release noted, explained that the new schools will include classrooms, laboratories, outdoor areas and specialty rooms that are required under the secondary education curriculum, the press release also stated. Clarke announced that the US$4,795,595.67 contract for the construction of the Westminster Secondary School was awarded to R. Bassoo and Sons Contracting Services, while the US$4,082,506.80 contract for the construction of the Good Hope Secondary School was awarded to B.K International Inc.
According to Project Coordinator Jimmy Bhojdat, the schools will be modern facilities built in accordance with international best practices and standards. He added that the schools are expected to be completed within 15 months.
Chief Executive Officer of R. Bassoo and Sons, Roy Bassoo, and Managing Director of B.K. International Inc., Brian Tiwarie, were both reported to have committed to completing the schools in accordance with the specifications requested and within the timeframe.
The MoE press release did not reveal any further details that would shed some light in order to explain the cost of construction. However, it said the Westminster Secondary School will be built to accommodate 1,000 students and the Good Hope Secondary School will cater to 800 students.
The construction of these two schools falls under the Secondary Education Improvement Project (SEIP), which is being funded by the World Bank. One of the objectives of the SEIP is to increase enrolment in secondary schools in targeted regions.