WELLINGTON, July 5 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government has committed to a long-term plan that will see brand new schools and classrooms built, to meet demand for around 100,000 extra student places for children entering schools over the next 10 years.
The country's first ever National Education Growth Plan identifies where new schools may need to be built or additional classrooms are needed at current schools, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday.
"We are seeing too many kids getting taught in cold school halls and prefabs and our plan will turn that around," Ardern said during a visit to a school in southwest Auckland.
The plan brings the building of new classrooms in line with future roll growth, she said.
"This plan sits alongside the largest ever single investment in school property in New Zealand history. The 1.2 billion NZ dollars (800 million U.S. dollars) in guaranteed funding for new classrooms gives certainty to schools, parents, and the construction sector," the prime minster said.
"Our investment in schools is yet another way the government's making progress to make sure that New Zealand is the best place in the world to be a child," she added.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said New Zealand is already experiencing unprecedented growth in the number of school-aged children in parts of the country, which is expected to continue and even increase in some areas over the next decade. Enditem