It was announcement last week that ten primary schools in Mayo, which are currently forced into renting prefabs, will be offered funding to construct permanent facilities. However, one principal has questioned why thousands of euro have been wasted renting the prefabs in recent years.
Speaking about the announcement, principal Joe Carty of Lankill NS, Westport, said he welcomed the funding, but added: “In our case €64,000 was spent renting the prefab over the last four years, and the net value of the prefab is €60,000, so we have exceeded the value in rent.”
Commenting on the threatened teacher cuts to schools that fall under a certain pupil-teacher ratio, Mr Carty said that Lankill NS was in a better position than many other schools he knew of. “We’re not at risk, enrolment has grown significantly in recent years, thankfully … But obviously it’s going to be difficult with all of the cuts to capitation which we need for heating and lighting.” December’s budget included a 2 per cent reduction in overall capitation funding for primary schools in 2012, and a further reduction of 2 per cent in 2013.
Prefabs to be replaced
Fine Gael Deputy Michelle Mulherin said that the construction of permanent facilities forms part of the Government’s €430 million education infrastructure plan.
The Mayo schools to be offered grants to build permanent accommodation are Ballyvary Central NS; Behymore NS, Ballina; Breaffy NS, Ballina; Caoneal NS, Ballina; Lankill NS, Westport; Muire Gan Smal, Claremorris; Richmond NS, Crossmolina; Scoil Naomh Bríd, Culleens, Ballina; SN Chomain Naofa, Roundfort and SN Pádraig, Corrabheagain, Knockmore, Ballina.
The Fine Gael TD said that the situation where some Mayo schools were spending up to €100,000 a year on prefabs was nonsensical when the money could have been used to service a loan to construct a much needed permanent building.
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