Minister to meet TDs about lack of school places

Minister to meet TDs about lack of school places

 

MINISTER for Education Ruairi Quinn wants to meet with TDs representing East Cork to discuss ways of heading off a crisis, which if not averted could see hundreds of pupils unable to gain places in primary and secondary schools.

He made his comments after Deputy David Stanton (FG) highlighted lack of state forward planning which has seen the population along the Cork-Midleton railway corridor mushroom, but at the same time no new schools have been built to accommodate the children. 

The population explosion is highlighted by the fact that there are double the amount of junior infants compared to children in sixth class in 21 primary schools in the region. 

“The projections show that this increase will necessitate as many as 64 new primary classrooms by 2015 and as many as 77 by 2020,” Mr Stanton said. 

“Secondary schools in Midleton and Carrigtwohill are full, and schools in and Cobh are also under pressure, while Glanmire had a waiting list last year. Many of these schools have applied to the Department of Education for extensions and improved facilities, but these have not yet been approved,” the deputy added. 

The department estimates that an additional 394 second level places will needed by 2015. 

Mr Stanton said the Christian Brothers secondary school in Midleton had room to expand. St Mary’s, the town’s girls’ secondary school, is seeking an increase in accommodation. 

Mr Quinn said he’d like to see how much of the ever-tightening department budget could be spent on expanding some of the existing schools in the region. However, he also acknowledged that new schools also needed to be built.

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Tuesday, April 05, 2011

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