Policy Matters

Building and Classrooms to be funded by Minister

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Millions of Euro earmarked for school building this year is to be diverted to pay for long-overdue computers in schools. A storm erupted yesterday when it emerged that the Department of Education has, so far, spent only 52pc of the 2009 school building budget. It sparked fury among the 1,200 schools currently seeking approval to go ahead with major building projects — some of them waiting for years. Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe pledged yesterday to spend all of this year's capital budget, but hasn't said how. He conceded that the capital budget also covered areas like information and communications technology (ICT) in schools and said spending on that could increase this year. This was taken as a clear signal that the money is likely to fund a much-needed IT programme.

The department's capital budget for 2009 is

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