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Education Ministry writes nine contractors over contract delays, substandard work

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Nine contractors who are executing contracts for the Ministry of Education, including those building new schools, were written to, flagging delays and substandard work.

This was revealed by the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand during a press conference held in Kingston, Georgetown on Tuesday.

Manickchand detailed the Education Ministry’s plans to build and/or extend nursery, primary and secondary schools all across Guyana. Such construction, she explained, is necessary to improve access to education, especially in hinterland communities where learning is hindered by overcrowding or the outright unavailability of schools.

But contract issues hinder that ambitious goal.

“We are starting and hope to finish more than 30 secondary schools across this school in under five years.

“We haven’t changed out contractors so yes, we are suffering from people who are crossing over timelines,” she said at the press conference.

Though affirming that she and officials from her ministry have been engaging contractors frequently, Manickchand noted that some contractors have engaged on their work.

“So far, we had to write nine contractors for either their quality or breaches and (we) began the process of liquidated damages,” the Education Minister highlighted.

She later clarified that no liquidated damages have been applied as yet.

Liquidated damages refer to a provision allowing for the payment of a specified sum in the case of a breach of contract. Last month, President Dr. Irfaan Ali issued a stern warning to defaulting contractors, indicating that the government will go after those contractors who have gone past their project deadline and the justifiable extensions.

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