The Ministry of Education on Friday signed a US$832,883.96 contract with International Import and Supplies to expand and rehabilitate the Northwest (Mabaruma) Secondary School under the Guyana Skills Development and Employability Project through funding from the Caribbean Development Bank.

The expansion is to cater for the delivery of technical and vocational education under the Guyana Skills Development and Employability Project.

The contract caters for a two-story practical instruction center and upgrade of the existing school at Mabaruma, which serves several communities in the Northwest District of Region One.

When complete, the two-story building will house three workshops for Motor Vehicle Repairs (Cars and Light Trucks), Electrical Installation and Furniture Making. Further, the building will include two workshops for Commercial Food Preparation and Home Economics/House Keeping. Other improvements include the expansion of washroom facilities, upgrade of the Learning Resource Centre and plumbing infrastructure.

At the contract-signing ceremony, Minister of Education Priya Manickchand said the project will allow the government to enhance the delivery of technical and vocational level in communities where the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) is not popular.

The Minister stated that equipping the residents of North West with these skills will not only encourage personal development but also improve their employability.

The Minister also took the opportunity to underline the importance of contractors making good on their promises after being awarded contracts in what she described as a fair and open process.

“It is not because we like to quarrel that we ask for quality work delivered in a timely manner; it is because if you don’t give us that, you are robbing children, students and people of what we promise them we will deliver.”

She reiterated that as in the case of the terminated Courtney Benn Contracting Services Limited (CBCSL) St Roses High School contract and BK International Yarrowkabra Secondary School contract, if contractors are unable to honour their obligations, contracts will be terminated.

The improved Practical Instruction Departments (PID) will offer Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) Levels one and two in the areas of commercial food preparation, motor vehicle repairs (cars, lights and trucks), electrical installation, furniture making, carpentry and joinery, home economics and housekeeping.