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February 21, 2008

Education Minister 'Neglects Kildare' - Daly


The treatment by Education and Science Minister Mary Hanafin of all sections of education in Kildare shows her lack of commitment to the reality of education needs in the county according to Fine Gael’s Cllr Richard Daly

“A whole range of educational establishments which had completed the long acquisition, planning and tendering process throughout the county are left in the perpetual limbo of not knowing when they will be allowed to complete the schools which have been sanctioned for years.

There is no doubt about the need for any of these schools but all semblance of transparency and accountability have vanished from the process which seems to be purely in the hands of the minister. Schools in Naas, Athy and Athgarvan are among the bemused and bewildered who can not understand the ad hoc decision making process engaged in by the minister.” Said Cllr Daly.

“For any level of planning and education provision, school managers need to know when their projects are to be advanced. Many schools have worked through the process for seven or eight years and still have no definite finishing date. Even when all stages of the process are completed the minister still has to wait for the right moment for an announcement.

Primary schools can be located on second level grounds or sports clubs with no definite future arrangement for their re-location while the minister claims that it is possible to design and build schools within a year.

While I applaud the one location in Adamstown where school facilities are leading population development, it must not be at the expense of the rest of the commuter belt. Every student has equal rights and their education facilities should not be dependent on the favouritism of a minister.” he added.