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The State's over-reliance on prefabricated classrooms was raised at this month's meeting of Westmeath Vocational Education Committee (WVEC), held this week in Castlepollard Community College.
Sinn Fein councillor Thérèse Ruane has described the government’s decision to cut the school building programme budget as short sighted and morally reprehensible. The Government, in the emergency budget, announced a €54 million cut in education and science capital expenditure including €30 million from the primary and post primary school building programmes.
Four Westmeath schools have spent over €100,000 each renting prefab units, and a further five schools over €50,000 each, according to information obtained from the Department of Education this week.
A total of almost €1.5 million has been paid out by Westmeath primary schools for the rent of prefabs over the last 10 years, according to figures released by the Department of Education this week. In Athlone alone, prefabricated structures have cost schools some €485,000 in rent, as several schools await approval on urgently needed extensions.