Construction has begun at Moeding College for a nine double story block housing units of two bedroom houses worth over P43 million Pula. The project, which has been downsized from the initial 15 blocks of flats each containing four units of two bedroomed houses, got underway on Tuesday.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony Assistant Minister of Basic Education Moiseraele Goya said they had to re-scope the project due to challenges that were unforeseen at the initial conception phase.
“Some of the challenges include the fact that the College, having occupied the land since early sixties, thought there would be no need for Environmental Impact Assessment,” the Minister said. He said the ministry was intending to construct 752 new classrooms, 175 science laboratories and 5, 885 staff houses countrywide. The developments, Goya said, would be constructed in phases under the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP).
“We have already started construction of 292 teachers’ houses and 32 classrooms.” He said the Ministry of Basic Education falls under the construction sector due to the backlog of maintenance and new construction needed to ensure that all schools are provided with quality teaching and learning environments to enhance learning outcomes. Chairman of the Moeding College Board of Governors Rupert Hambira said the Assistant Minister played a key role in ensuring the issue of environmental impact assessment with respect to the project was resolved and that the school were granted a waiver to proceed with the preliminary works of the project. “We have discussed this project and agreed on re-scoping it using the available resources,” Hambira said. While government sponsored projects awarded for the Mission school do not go through the normal PPADB procurement processes Hambira told Sunday Standard that although the final decision lies with the Board of Governors’ ,they depend on the Department of Technical Services for expertise and technical support.
“They also provide ongoing guidance to the Board on various phases of the project,” Hambira said. The P43 million has been awarded to Alindo Engineering. Assistant Minister Goya advised the contractor to ensure the project gets completed in time, within budget and defined scope and quality.
“We have in the past heard of some government projects getting accustomed to cost overruns. I Hope you will not allow yourselves to fall into this trap,” Goya addressed the contractor. He said he was confident that the contractors have the requisite capacity for the task at hand. Speaking on behalf of Alindo Engineering the company’s Managing Director Albert Mbai promised to complete the project within the set time frame. He also promised to provide temporary employment to the residents of Otse where Moeding College is located. The staff houses are expected to be ready for occupation by December 2017.
The project is expected to reduce the situation of shared accommodation by teachers while also enabling those that stayed outside of the school in neighbouring areas such as Ramotswa, Mogobane and Gaborone to move closer to their place of work.