Two contracts were signed today in the boardroom of the Ministry of Education’s 26 Brickdam office for the expansion and rehabilitation of the Hopetown and Beterverwagting Practical Instruction Centres.
Each facility will benefit from improved practical instruction departments to offer CVQ Level One training in Commercial Food Preparation, Masonry/Plumbing, Electrical Installation, Graphic Design and Home Economics / House Keeping.
This will improve the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) options offered to students in Region Five (Hopetown) and Region Four (Beterverwagting).
The two projects fall under the Guyana Skills Development and Employability Project (GSDEP) which is funded by the Caribbean Development Bank. The GSDEP is aimed at improving Guyana’s capacity to deliver TVET programmes equitably across the education sector.
Chief Education Officer, Dr. Marcel Hutson said that today’s signing speaks to how the Ministry views TVET. “Part of our strategic plan has to do with Technical Vocational Education and Training because we see how important this education is in terms of developing our nation and how important it is to offering an alternative pathway to our students in the school system”, Dr. Hutson noted.
Speaking directly to the contractors, Dr. Hutson said that when executing these projects they need to move with alacrity and avoid any delays since these projects are important to the development of our students.
Deputy Chief Education Officer (Technical) Mr. Patrick Onwuzirike said that today’s signing moves the Ministry closer to realizing the objective of the GSDEP. He said that students that will be trained at the two facilities will earn the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) Certificate.
He said that he would like the contractors to complete their work within the contractual timeline which is 12 months so that next year, students can be admitted into the institutions.
According to Mr. Onwuzirike, the Ministry has a strategic objective to offer every secondary school student some options in TVET to leave the system with a skilled certificate.
Permanent Secretary Mr. Alfred King reminded the contractors of the Government’s zero-tolerance for delinquent contractors. He said, “We have been experiencing very often contractors who would win these contracts fairly but then trying to get the implementation going is always a problem.” He said that timely delivery of the project is key to quality control. Mr. King said that if the projects are not completed on time, students will be deprived of quality experiences that are to be provided from these projects.
The Project Coordinator of the GSDEP, Mr. Theron Siebs said that each school will have five occupational areas and offer CVQ Level 1 certification. He said that it is very important that each contractor sticks to the specifications of the contract, failing which the schools will not fulfil the requirement of the Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA) which is the arm of CARICOM responsible for coordinating TVET in CARICOM states
He said that the entire project is being funded through a partnership with the Government of Guyana and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The cost for the expansion and rehabilitation of the Beterverwagting PIC is GY$186,478,810. This contract was awarded to KALLCO Guyana Inc. The cost for the expansion and rehabilitation of the Hopetown PIC is US$1,567,340. This contract was awarded to M&P Investment Guyana Inc. with MTSUL Construcoes LTDA and Construtora Cobra Eireli. The consultancy firm for both projects is VIKAB Engineering Consultants Limited in association with VIKAB (Guyana) Limited and Jain Consultants.