Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 22 September 2011 14:17

Baksh announces major enhancement works at Golden Grove Secondary

Government has allocated some $3.2 million for the execution of key rehabilitation works that will restore the Golden Grove Secondary School to a more habitable state. The sum is expected to cover repairs to sanitary blocks, gates, windows, pluming and electrical works.

Education Minister Shaik Baksh on a visit to the school on Wednesday said given the poor physical condition of the school, the ministry will restore the three classrooms that were abandoned, the science and information technology laboratories, and supply 70 pieces of furniture. These works estimated to cost some $10 million are in keeping with the ministry’s trust to promote safe and secured learning environments.

Both the science and information technology laboratories which are priority area of the ministry are expected to be operational by January, 2012. The school will also receive 20 computers from the ministry to prepare students to sit information technology as a subject at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.

Baksh informed the school’s headteacher, parents and regional officials, including Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR) Parliamentarian Earnest Elliot that restoration of the three classrooms will be completed in two weeks, and the furniture will be at the school around that time.

Meanwhile, works have started at the school, and during the minister’s visit, he was briefed of repairs currently being carried out on the sanitary blocks at the building.

The aim of the minister’s visit was to observe first hand the state of the school, and look at areas that need urgent attention. Baksh was accompanied by a team of senior education officials who will be working with officials from Region Four to see the works through.

Parents expressed gratitude to Minister Baksh for intervening in the matter, noting that they now have hope of having a school that is habitable and conducive to learning. The ministry has also assigned two guidance and counselling officers to the school.

Education Minister Shaik Baksh on Tuesday expressed deep concern about the negligence of the Region Four administration to carrying out critical renovation works at the school.

Representatives of the school’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) two weeks ago met with regional official to discuss the physical conditions of the school and were given the assurance that their concerns will be addressed.

Despite the promise, the region dragged its feet and commenced work on Wednesday after the unbearable situation at the school forced Minister Baksh to intervene in the matter

The Education Ministry will continue to provide support to the regions in their planned repairs and maintenance programmes while recognising that they have direct responsibility for these functions in keeping with the decentralised system of education.

The education sector is operating under a decentralised system which has been in existence since the 1980s and provided for by legislation.  The repairs and maintenance of schools and the provision of furniture is the direct responsibility of the regional democratic councils, their regional education committees and the regional education departments. The national budget provides resources to the regions for these purposes.  Least it be misunderstood, the Education Ministry is deeply concerned at the situation at Golden Grove Secondary and in some other schools and has been working on a continuous basis with officials of these schools, the regions and the Local Government and Regional Development Ministry to correct these shortcomings. The ministry has been forced to intervene in some of these situations as the regions’ handling of these works runs counter to the ministry’s trust of promoting safe, productive and conducive learning environments.

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