Education Ministry takes control of Yarrowkabra Secondary School site

…as contractor finally vacates location

The Education Ministry on Friday announced that it has taken control of the Yarrowkabra Secondary School site after contactor BK International finally vacated the location.
According to the Ministry, on January 7, 2020, the $826.7 million contract was signed with BK International Inc for the construction of the Yarrowkabra Secondary School.
The school, the Ministry said, is intended to benefit 600 children in Yarrowkabra and neighbouring communities along the Linden Highway. The state-of-the-art school was scheduled to be completed in March 2021.
However, as of this month, only five per cent of the school was completed. This means that the school will not be finished in accordance with the contractual deadline, the Ministry said, adding that the effect of this unreasonable delay is that the 600 students who are to benefit from the school and its modern facilities will be forced to travel long distances to attend other secondary schools or be placed in the Primary Top Departments of some primary schools, which is a practice the Ministry plans to stop.
In a statement on Friday, the Ministry said that recognising the slothful pace at which the construction was taking place, the Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, had engaged the contracted company and pleaded repeatedly for the firm to put itself in order and devise a new work plan that would see it completing the school within the stipulated time.
Further, the Ministry said that the consultant on the project had advised BK International Inc to employ additional staff so that more work could get done.
Hence, BK International Inc was given a second opportunity to make things right so that the nation’s children can benefit from what they deserve, a modern facility to enable them to achieve their dreams, the Ministry’s statement said.
However, this among other suggestions were unheeded and the Government was forced to terminate the contract with the company due to the inordinate delays in the completion of the works.
On November 1, 2020, the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, wrote BK International Inc informing the entity that the contract was terminated with immediate effect. He noted that the company had committed a fundamental breach of the terms of the contract and as a result, the Government of Guyana exercised its right to terminate the contract.
In the said letter, the contractor was advised to remove all machinery and equipment from the site.
On November 10, 2020, the consultancy firm visited the site and observed that the company was still progressing with works despite the contract being terminated.
In a letter dated November 11, 2020, the consultancy firm wrote the Managing Director of BK International Inc, Brian Tiwarie, informing him that pursuant to Clause 40.5 [Termination] “the contractor is to stop the works immediately, make the site safe and secure and leave the site as soon as reasonably possible.”
In that letter, the consultants instructed the contractor to stop works immediately and advised that any work done or materials ordered beyond the date of termination, November 1, 2020, is done at the contractor’s own risk.
The Ministry added that on November 19, 2020, Permanent Secretary of the Education Ministry, Alfred King wrote BK International Inc instructing the company to bring all work to a halt with immediate effect and vacate the project site within twenty-four hours.
The Ministry has since installed its own security after taking possession of the site with the help of the enforcement arm of the State.