NDP commits €4.4bn to major, second-level training
The National Development Plan announced by the government this afternoon sees spending of $ 4.4 billion.
It envisages an average of 150 to 200 school construction projects per year in the period from 2021 to 2025 in order to meet demographic needs and to support the modernization of existing school facilities. The plan provides that this will include “as much as possible” in a future-proof manner from the point of view of climate protection.
The NDP says it will also support the implementation of key priorities in the school sector, including addressing special educational needs with a particular focus on lower secondary education and an increased focus on rehabilitating existing schools “as part of the underpinning”. the transition of the school system to a net zero carbon era by 2050 “.
Although primary school enrollment is now declining from a peak two years ago, the plans indicate that there will continue to be a need for additional capacity in more than a third of local school areas due to significant regional and local differences.
It states that 90% of the local school areas need additional capacity at lower secondary level. A peak in school enrollment in lower secondary school is to be achieved by 2024/25.
The plan names, among other things, school laboratories and sports halls as areas in which “greater focus is placed on the renovation of the existing school stock”.
It states that, after a series of pilot projects, “a start and progression of a profound energy-efficient renovation of schools that were built before 2008 in order to achieve the climate protection goals 2030 and 2050”.
It states that investments will be made in a suitable ICT infrastructure to support curricular developments such as computer science in the upper school cycle, the planned review of the primary mathematics curriculum (to include computer-aided thinking) and the implementation of the STEM strategy.
With regard to spending on continuing education and higher education, the plan envisages that in the coming decade we will “step up our commitment to using the role of continuing education and universities as an anchor for business and regional growth”.
Investing in these sectors will directly support the objective of ensuring that employment growth in the eastern and central regions is at least equal to that of the northern, western and southern regions combined.
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The plan provides for “a significant increase” in the funding of the training area.
“The development of FET Colleges of the Future will be supported, both through targeted investments in existing buildings and through the development of a small number of strategic new campuses that are tailored to regional needs.”
It will prioritize investments in expanding the range of apprenticeships in line with the goals for new admissions. One focus of the current investments is the expansion of capacities for electrical and plumbing apprenticeships.
According to the NDP, the annual capital investments of the Ministry of Education, Research, Innovation and Science will gradually increase from a total of 500 million euros this year to 652 million euros by 2025, an increase of 30%.