Friday, 14 May 2010

You see there was once this school...

THERE was once a nice wee primary school on the outskirts of north Belfast. Pupils were generally happy and it fed many children into a nearby post-primary school.

Then some nasty people started a fire that ended up with the school being demolished.

Pupils, parents and staff were understandably distraught. Then along came a Minister. No, not a Minister of the church, a Minister in the executive instead! This Minister said that there would be a nice new shiny school built to replace the burnt out shell.

So, the thought of the children squatting in the nearby high school for a wee while wasn’t so bad for the children.

Then the Minister said that all building work was under review and the new primary school might not get built any time soon.


Of course, times are tough and there are a lot of schools needing new buildings and refurbishment, so a review is necessary. And, work on the nice new shiny Irish language schools is started before the review is underway.

Cue much political point-scoring. But one has to at least admire the fact that a Sinn Féin MLA took to the steps of Stormont in the face of an irate group of parents, mainly from the Rathcoole housing estate, which has never been regarded as an estate where republican politicians are ever going to receive a favourable response.

It is, however, less than admirable that the parents – and the pupils who also made the journey – received no solace, no news on a new school build, or even a realistic timescale for the review’s completion.

It’s so nice when politics works, and so horrible when it all comes collapsing around the feet of the ordinary men, women and children. Still, at least we have a resolution to the post primary school transfer conundrum. Errr, well maybe not!

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