Sport is set to be a big winner in the new round of Education funding announced this morning by an Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Ministers for Education Richard Bruton and Mary Mitchell. It will though take some time to materialise.
The education element of the Government’s Ireland 2040 programme includes a commitment to a PE Hall Build and Modernisation programme. The aim is to provide all post-primary schools with access to ‘state of the art’ facilities to provide PE provision.
The rollout of PE as a leaving cert subject is also strongly referenced, though the programme is not scheduled to begin until the second half of the current phase meaning from around 2222.
School laboratory modernisation is to take place earlier with applications for that expected to open in 2019.
In sport it is always good to come first but science has been on the curriculum a lot longer and while sport could make a case under the auspices of national health strategies, getting onto the agenda is at least a result.
“Project Ireland 2040 represents a significant shift in how we as a country plan for our future development,” said Taoiseach Varadkar.
“We are taking a much longer-term view and linking investment with planning for the first time ever. In the education sector, that means we’re significantly increasing the amount we invest in our schools, colleges and universities. For example, we’ll be boosting the school building budget by 70% over the next ten years and trebling our investment in higher education.”
“I am particularly pleased that we’ll be investing in PE halls – modernising old ones and building new ones – to ensure all post-primary students can use state of the art PE facilities.”
“This will be especially important as we phase in PE as a Leaving Cert exam subject. Education doesn’t just drive economic success, it’s also crucial to giving everyone the opportunity to fulfill their full potential, in all parts of the country. This ambitious and unprecedented level of investment – almost €12 billion – in our education sector will ensure our this generation of children and the next get the best possible start in life.”
Sport for Business has just completed a first wave of sports club roadshows around the country looking at applications for Sports Capital funding.
One of the key recurring themes was the shared use of facilities between schools and sports clubs and how while this was an optimum solution, it often fell foul in terms of opening up facilities in the evening.
It has to be hoped that over time, these issues can be resolved, either at local or ideally by national momentum so that the provision of new and updated facilities in time can have an even more beneficial impact.
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