Boost for schools

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Cromwell Primary School pupils are to get more room to move, after a multimillion-dollar announcement yesterday the schools will get new classrooms to cope with overcrowding issues.

During his visit to Cromwell Primary School, Associate Minister of Education Tim Macindoe revealed the school would be allocated about $2million to build four new classrooms, while Goldfields Primary School would receive a further $1million to develop two new rooms.

Shotover Primary School would also receive $2million, he said.

The schools have struggled to accommodate rapid population growth in the area.

Cromwell Primary School principal Wendy Brooks said the school had been forced to hold classes in both the library and corridor due to a lack of space.

“We’ve been operating under crowded conditions for quite a long time. It just means now we can move forward with some positive thinking around what we really want to do for the kids.

“It just means we can provide the kinds of learning environments that you want for every child.”

Cromwell and Goldfields schools collaborated to lobby the ministry for more space, she said.

“It’s been tough. You look at all the new schools that are being built around the country and you can’t help but feel envious of the wonderful facilities that they have .. finally now they’re recognising that there are other areas of growth, like ours.”

Goldfields Primary School principal Sharon Booth said the funding would make a “huge difference” to both schools.

“In the past we’ve had to reach a certain number and then be granted classroom space, which can take about two years to come to fruition.

“In this model, it means we can be forward-thinking, so whilst we are due for another classroom, we’ve actually got two.”

Mr Macindoe said the allocation of new classrooms reflected the growth in the area, although he was unable to reveal whether funding would be allocated to schools in Alexandra.

“Clearly this is an area that’s growing rapidly and we are aware of the fact that there has been a lot of pressure in this area.

“That just reflects the need they have right now.”

Modern education was changing and classrooms needed to be modernised and fit for purpose, he said.

“These classrooms are really modern, fit-for-purpose things, which I think will enhance the whole learning environment.

“I absolutely do believe that a modern classroom will contribute to student achievement.”

He also stressed the importance of primary schooling and praised the work of local teachers.

“I can still remember the name of every teacher I had at primary school – every one of them – because they made such a difference in my life.”