$560.7 Million in contracts signed for construction of new St. Mary’s Secondary School in Georgetown

$560.7 Million in contracts signed for construction of new St. Mary’s Secondary School in Georgetown

The Ministry of Education today signed six contracts totaling $560.7M for the construction of a new secondary school in the capital city of Georgetown.

The new St. Mary’s Secondary School, which will be built where the old school once stood at the junction of Brickdam and Camp Street, is designed to accommodate 600 students.

The school will be constructed by four contractors – K&S General Construction Inc., A Ograsein and Sons General Contracting, Cummings Electrical Company, and R&D Engineering Service – who were awarded a total of six contracts. 

The Education Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Alfred King said upon completion, the school will have a number of modern amenities and facilities.

“It will be a modern facility. A three-storey building with 10 classrooms upstairs, 12 classrooms on the middle flat, and downstairs you will have six labs or laboratories including ICT technology lab and of course, the industrial arts facility. The building, of course, will be outfitted with fire prevention equipment to ensure that we can offer some protective services in case of a fire, which includes fire escape exists, extinguishers and alarms,” the Permanent Secretary explained.

The school is earmarked to be completed within six to seven months. 

Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand said the construction of the new school forms part of her Ministry’s push to achieve universal education.

“This is another step in taking us closer to universal secondary education. So, what we want in Guyana is for every child, where ever they live to access secondary education universally, that means all over Guyana,” the education minister said.

Guyana has long achieved universal primary education. However, the country has faced a number of setbacks in its drive to achieve universal secondary education with a number of schools being completely destroyed by fires in recent years.

Minister Manickchand said notwithstanding those challenges, her Ministry is forging ahead with its plans. She said those plans require the support of everyone, including the contractors, who must build according to specification and in keeping with established timelines.  

“As you know, within the last two weeks we signed contracts for the rebuilding of the Christ Church Secondary, as well as the St. George’s Secondary. When we came into office, we came in with a space deficit for high school children, and that got worse with the St Gorge’s fire and the Christ Church fire, and the North Ruimveldt fire. So, we are on a massive rebuilding exercise,” she explained.

On Wedneday, the Good Hope Secondary on the East Coast of Demerara will be commissioned, and according to Minister Manickchand, a number of other schools are being constructed across the country. Additionally, several other schools have been extended, including Queen’s College, The Bishops’ High and St Rose’s High in the city where new blocks have been erected.

The Education Minister said focus is also being placed on quality education.

 “Our effort is not only to fix infrastructure and build out spaces but to provide quality education once children get into the classroom. And so, it is a massive undertaking, that requires not only the government but the involvement of everybody including parents, guardians and the wider society,” the minister said.

Minister Manickchand anticipates that by 2024, the country will be closer to achieving universal secondary education.

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