THE Ministry of Education (MoE) has taken control of the incomplete Yarrowkabra Secondary School on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway after the slothful rate of construction by the contractor, BK International Inc.
In January this year, the MoE signed an $826.7M contract with the company for the construction of the Yarrowkabra Secondary School. According to a release from the ministry, this school is intended to benefit 600 children in Yarrowkabra and neighbouring communities along the Highway.
These children would have been able to attend the school after its completion in March 2021, but it is only five per cent complete, four months away from that expected completion date. Thus, the school will not be finished in accordance with the contractual deadline.
“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 to be placed in the Primary Top Departments of some primary schools, which is a practice the Ministry of Education plans to stop,” the release noted.
It was also related that the Minister of Education, Ms. Priya Manickchand had engaged the contracted company and pleaded repeatedly for it to complete the job within the stipulated time.
Further, it was stated that the consultant on the project, Vikab Engineering Consultants Limited, had advised BK International Inc. to employ additional staff, so that more work can get done.
Though BK International Inc. was given a second opportunity to remedy the situation, and other suggestions were made, it was highlighted that 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 Honourable Minister of Legal Affairs 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,” the MoE said in the release.
Even though the contractor was advised to remove all machinery and equipment from the site, when the consultancy firm visited on November 10, it was observed that the company was still progressing with works, despite the contract being terminated.
Subsequently, the consultancy firm wrote the Managing Director of BK International Inc., Mr. 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 contractor was ordered to stop work immediately, and was advised that any work done, or materials ordered beyond the date of termination, November 1, 2020, is done at the contractor’s own risk.
Furthermore, on November 19, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Alfred King wrote B.K International Inc., instructing it that all work come to a halt with immediate effect, and the project site be vacated within 24 hours.
On Saturday, the contractor was no longer on site. The Ministry has installed its own security, after taking possession of the site, with the help of the police. The Government of Guyana wishes to advise that any unauthorised person found removing materials from the site will be prosecuted accordingly.