– No more Primary Tops for Region 3
Westminster High School is finally complete and will be ready for the new school year starting September 2021.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Education, Education Minister Priya Manickchand today visited the state-of-the-art facility located in the La Parfaite Harmonie community in Region Three.
Minister Manickchand said the school was one of six schools conceived in 2013 because at that time the Ministry of Education wanted to achieve General Secondary Education in Guyana.
He said that of six schools, the sum had been reduced to three, Westminster High School, Good Hope High School and Prospect High School.
Minister Manickchand said it was unfortunate that the schools had been completed over the last five years. She said, however, that her government insisted on completing all schools for those children who benefit.
“This one is ready for it to be handed over to us. It’s a beautiful school. It will probably be one of our most resourced school given the labs we’ve seen and we want to make sure that the children of Region Three can benefit from it, ”Minister Manickchand noted.
The Education Minister added that the school along with a dormitory to be built in Leonora, will allow the Ministry to close all Primary Top in Region Three. He explained that Top Primary is a section in a Primary School that caters for children of secondary school age who do not have a formal secondary school to attend. These students would continue to attend primary school but receive a secondary level education.
He said that this situation is undesirable and is unlikely to produce the results the Ministry is aiming for. “It is not likely to give students the opportunities they need to survive best in this world. So that’s why we got pregnant from these schools in the first place. I’m really excited to be able to do that in Region Three, ”Minister Manickchand noted.
Minister Manickchand also provided an update on Good Hope High School. He said the construction process continues to present challenges but that he is hopeful he may also be ready for September to serve Region Four students. He said the completion of Good Hope High School will allow the Ministry to close all Primary Top on the East Coast of Demerara.
Chief Education Officer, Mr. Marcel Hutson, Regional Education Officer, Mr. Devindra Persaud, Guyana Secondary Education Improvement Project (GSEIP) Coordinator, Jimmy Bhojedat and Special Projects Officer, Mr Ron Eastman together with the contractor and consultant accompanied Minister Manickchand on today’s visit.
R. Bassoo and Sons has been awarded the contract to build Westminster High School. Construction started in October 2018 and was due for completion in January 2020.
Accepting her post in August 2020, Education Minister Priya Manickchand had stressed the Government’s zero tolerance for delays in work and warned contractors to ensure work was done within the contractual time. He said the Ministry had worked closely with R. Bassoo and Sons Construction Inc. and the consulting firm Deen and Partners / SRKN Engineering to ensure completion of the school.
The total cost of the school is approximately $ 1B and was funded by the World Bank through the GSEIP. All the necessary furniture and equipment has already been purchased and will be installed as soon as the building is handed over to the Ministry.
Westminster High School has 32 classrooms, a language lab, dance studio, library, Physics, Chemistry and Biology labs, an Information Technology Lab, theater room, Maths lab, Home Economics Lab and an Agricultural Science Laboratory built to provide the best education for the nation’s children.
It will have a capacity of 1000 students and will therefore be a Grade A school. For the time being, it will be categorized as a Quality B-listed school but that status will change over the next two years according to the Minister . He added that the Ministry plans to make the school a Sixth Form school to offer Advanced Caribbean Proficiency Examination (CAPE).