Schools get classrooms, upgrades

STUDENTS at Merrylands and Auburn North Public Schools are settling into new classrooms as facilities opened in time for the start of the new school term

Visiting Merrylands Public last week to inspect their new $10 million facilities with Education Minister Sarah Mitchell, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was a great day for students and teachers.
“The NSW Government is committed to delivering the best education system in Australia, if not the world,” Ms Berejiklian told the community.
Last year, Merrylands Public’s enrolment was 537 students, with the 10 new classrooms set to increase the school’s capacity to 600 students.
Auburn North students are also enjoying 10 new classrooms along with new toilets and upgrades to the administration facility.
However the Shadow Minister for Education, Prue Car, says that as of September 11, there were still 6,598 demountable classrooms in use at NSW schools, with the Government spending $275 million constructing and refurbishing demountables, when they could have been investing in permanent classrooms.
Ms Car said the annual spend on demountable classrooms went from from $5 million in 2011/12, to $78 million in 2018/19, a 1,460 per cent increase.
“The Liberals and Nationals have a deplorable track record in planning generally and now we see the same deficiency in education planning,” she said.
She also said the Government’s flagship election pledge to air-condition school classrooms was taking too long, with just 27 of 1,300 applying schools having received air-conditioning, almost a year after first round recipients were announced.
“At this rate, the Berejiklian Liberal Government’s school air-conditioning rollout will take decades,” she said.
“Kids need to be in environments that are conducive to learning – not stuffy tinderboxes.”