SIMAP to spend $71M on three hinterland schools

Guyana Chronicle
July 1, 2000

SIMAP (Social Impact Amelioration Programme) will pay some $71M for work on three schools to improve learning facilities for children in the hinterland.

The contracts were signed on the respective sites Thursday for the construction and rehabilitation of Kato Primary/Nursery and Paramakatoi Secondary and Nursery schools in Region Eight (Potaro/Siparuni).

A SIMAP team, comprising Executive Director, Mr Harrinarine Nawbatt, Engineer, Mr Daniel Joseph, Coordinator of Amerindian Project, Ms Carolyn Rodrigues and Community Development Officer, Mr Ishwar Dass, went to Region Eight for that purpose.

The two contractors involved were Mr Rabindranauth Sharma and Mr Essau Akbar.

The unsafe structure at Kato, currently housing 139 pupils, will be rehabilitated with $19M accessed through a loan from Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Sharma will enlarge it to become 70 feet by 40 feet.

A headteacher's office, staff room, kitchenette and sanitary facilities will be added and the job, commencing in two weeks, is slated for completion within six months.

Nawbatt said the counterpart contribution by the community is $1.8M worth of sand, stone, bricks and labour.

SIMAP spent more than $3M training residents to make bricks which the agency will purchase at $25 each for the project.

The brick makers, individually, can produce 150 bricks daily.

Nawbatt also announced that a technical vocational programme is underway for persons between the ages of 16 and 25 to be taught skills while others fetching sand and stone would receive food supplements in the form of flour.

They would benefit from the last disbursement of that food item by SIMAP, he said.

At Paramakatoi, the secondary school will be rehabilitated at a cost of $34M and a nursery built with $18M.

The secondary will get a laboratory, Home Economics and Industrial Arts Departments, storeroom, library, headteacher's office and a section to conduct technical vocational training while the Secondary Schools Reform Project (SSRP) is to provide a generator for electricity.

Students of that institution have just written Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) tests.

As part of their contribution, the Paramakatoi population would also make sand, stone and bricks available and demolish what exists so the replacement erection could be finished also in six months.

Paramakatoi, too, can benefit from the tech/voc scheme and the $25 a brick payment under similar terms to those offered at Kato.

At their request, Nawbatt promised he would try to supply the self-helpers with hammers, spades, shovels and more tools for the people involved in the largest such undertaking in Region Eight, for which Akbar has been contracted.

Additions there would include a kitchenette, staff and headteacher's rooms and sanitary facilities, too, with self-help preparation of the site by volunteers amongst the 1,800 persons.

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