The Northern Ireland peace has allowed the Government to redirect Pounds 63 million from the security budget to an educational building programme. Michael Ancram, the province's education minister, has approved 27 major schemes.
These include eight primary schools, two special schools, extensions to six secondary schools and three FE colleges, a library, youth and community facilities and a sports training centre.
Pupils in Northern Ireland receive almost four times as much funding as children in similar-size schools in the Irish Republic, a new survey has claimed. The Irish National Teachers Organisation report showed that schools in the North are better equipped with computers, televisions and videos.
The survey of disadvantaged schools in Londonderry and Limerick found large classes in both areas, ranging from 16 to 31 in Ulster and 20 to 36 in the Republic.
The grant per child in Limerick was Pounds 55, and that in Londonderry, excluding staff costs, was Pounds 200.