By Alisdair Valente
Five new state schools are set to open this week in a joint initiative from Education Queensland and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to invest in the state’s future generation and job security.
A record-setting deposit of $1.9 billion is being invested on the school infrastructure 2020-21 scheme and will support almost 4800 jobs.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government was investing in schools and education because it was an investment in safeguarding public education and future jobs in the industry.
Three Sunshine Coast schools – Baringa State Secondary College in Caloundra, Palmview State and Palmview Special School and Gainsborough State School on the Gold Coast, as well as Brisbane South State Secondary College are ready for today, Wednesday; the first day of the 2021 state school year.
The ABC reported that a large factor for the government push for boosting state schooling infrastructure is due to rapid school-age population growth between 2016-2020, with 8000 additional school-aged children each of those years.
Education experts told the ABC that the school-aged population is set to swell to 500,000 in the next two decades, with critical areas of growth being western suburbs like Ipswich and Logan.
During a visit to the new Sunshine Coast school of Baringa State Secondary College, Education Minister Grace Grace said the college itself had supported more than 380 jobs, including five trainees and 76 apprentices.
“Our government continues to provide Queensland families access to world-class public education, no matter where they live,” Ms Grace said.
Ms Grace said that the 2020-21 schooling infrastructure scheme includes work on three new schools for 2020, those being schools in Coomera, Caloundra South and North MacLean.
Premier Palaszczuk said she would continue her government’s ongoing investment in state school education as Queenslanders unite and recover from the global pandemic.