Around 7,500 students nationwide, and 265 at Hāwea Flat School, are set to benefit from a government investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country, the Education Minister announced last week.
Amongst the projects announced was a $5 million pledge to fund short-term classrooms at schools in the South Island facing severe pressure from rapid roll growth, including Hāwea Flat School.
Principal Tania Pringle said the addition of two temporary classrooms would provide “much needed space” whilst four new permanent roll growth classrooms, promised by the MoE in September last year, were built. It was expected that the permanent classrooms would be completed by 2021, after an initial delay - partially due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the meantime, temporary structures “similar to those being provided at Mount Aspiring College” would help to house the growing student population, currently at 265, from early next year.
“Our roll continues to grow as there are lots of young families in our school zone as well as families moving into the area,” said Pringle. “While we are currently operating 10 classrooms we expected to be running 12 if not 13 by this time next year.”
“Families rightly expect their children to be able to learn in warm, dry and comfortable classrooms, and we are working hard to make that happen as a major contributor to New Zealand being the best country in the world to bring up a child,” Hipkins said.
Read edition 1002 of the Wānaka Sun here.