East Londonderry MLA George Robinson has pressed the Education Minister, John O’Dowd, saying that it ‘is essential’ that Coleraine Primary Schools like Millburn and Killowen achieve the same level of funding as the Irish Medium School in Dungiven.
In an Assembly question, the Limavady DUP man asked the Minister what funding he will use to ensure new school builds in the Coleraine area.
The DUP man put forward the case of Killowen and Millburn Primary Schools in Coleraine, asking if they would be given new builds as required, given that the education budget is to be increased.
Responding Education Minister John O’Dowd said: “Our capital budget for this year has increased on last year’s. We have a significantly increased capital budget, which means that we can move forward and catch up on the backlog of minor works, move forward with the school enhancement programmes that have been delayed, announce further builds for the primary school sector, and make significant changes to our schools estate.”
Referring to the two schools - Killowen and Millburn, the Minister added: “We will continue to move through the building backlog that we have. I will encourage the next Education Minister to work closely with his Executive colleagues on the budget. In that budget, I include capital, because, not only do new builds improve the schools estate, they make a significant impact in the economy through the construction industry”.
MLA Robinson stressed: “With so much money being spent on developing the Irish Medium School in Dungiven, it is essential that all schools in the area achieve the same level of funding. As repairs or new builds become necessary it is vital that it is brought to the Ministers attention. No sector of our education system can be permitted to lose out to benefit others,” concluded Mr Robinson.