Wednesday 19 September, 2018

MP blames PNM for poor construction of Fanny Village Government School

Former Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh is slamming the current Minister of Education for statements he made about the construction of the Fanny Village Government Primary school.

During the recently concluded ‘Conversations with the Prime Minister’ series held in Point Fortin on Tuesday, Minister Garcia responded to concerns raised by a parent, who asked when the school would be completed. Students are currently being taught in a community centre. 

Garcia said the partially constructed school which cost $28 million dollars, would be demolished because it was constructed on a swamp.

He added that those responsible for building the school on said location would be held accountable.  

“We are taking measures to ensure that those who were responsible for the design would be held accountable because we cannot understand how a school could be built in a swamp.”

Construction of the new school began in 2015 after the old structure was burnt in April that year.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Dr Gopeesingh said Minister Garcia’s comments were a blatant attempt at public mischief and labelled it an attempt at “deliberately misleading the nation.”.

Dr Gopeesingh stated that the contract for construction of the Fanny Village Government Primary School was awarded in January 2009 by the Manning-led administration to Ashana Civil Mechanical Contractors Ltd., at a cost of $23.6 million.

He said in the first two years of the People’s Partnership administration’s (2011,2012) tenure, the said company did not construct much beyond the foundation level. He said the contract was later terminated by EFCL.

Gopeeshingh continued, noting that the CCSL Company Limited won the bid to construct the school for $25 million dollars. The work was expected to begin in April 2015.

He said initial mobilization work was done by the contractor in the four months between the awarding of the contract and the People’s Partnership Government demitting office.

The Caroni East MP said no further construction has taken place on the site by the Rowley-led regime as in the 78 other schools that were being constructed by the PP Government.

He said in light of these facts, Minister Garcia and Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Francis must take full responsibility for what could be interpreted as a deliberate, vicious, vindictive and sinful attempt to spread gross untruths to mislead the country.

Gopeesingh further urged the Ministers to improve their "failing performances" in the education sector.