East Galway Senator Lorraine Higgins has said the Department of Education’s school building programme for next year reflects the current Government’s determination to prioritise the education of our young people.
The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn T.D., announced details of the schools that are planned to advance to construction in 2012, including the advancement of projects in East Galway.
The major projects due to go to construction next year comprise:
• 26 new schools at primary level
• 12 major extensions at primary level
• Nine new schools at second level
• Nine major extensions at second level
Senator Higgins pointed out that total enrolment in both primary and post-primary schools is expected to grow by around 70,000 between now and 2018 – by over 45,000 at primary level and 25,000 at post primary. Enrolment will continue to rise at post-primary level to the year 2024 at least.
“We have to ensure that every child growing up in Ireland will have access to a physical school place.”
In particular, Senator Higgins welcomed the news that the new primary school under construction at Iomair NS, Killimor is earmarked for completion in 2012. The refurbishment and extension of Cappataggle Central primary school was on course for completion this year.
In all, €430m will be spent on educational infrastructure next year – representing the first phase of a €2 billion five-year plan for major school building projects.
Details of the five-year plan will be published in the coming months. This will outline when the major projects needed to cater for demographic growth will be completed. Publication of the plan will also enhance the transparency and openness in the school building system.
This substantial investment will provide over 100,000 permanent school places, of which over 80,000 will be additional school places, the remainder will be replacement of temporary or unsatisfactory accommodation.