Roll growth prompts plea

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MARY-JO TOHILL

‘‘Se­vere over­crowd­ing’’ is­sues at Rom­a­hapa School have prompted its board of trustees to write di­rectly to Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Nikki Kaye to ask for a tem­po­rary class­room.

As of next Mon­day, the roll at the ru­ral school will reach 88 chil­dren.

Rom­a­hapa School board of trustees mem­ber Jules Witt said that’s about 40 more pupils than the two class­room-two teacher school was de­signed to take, with stu­dents squeezed into the space, and over­flow­ing into other ar­eas.

Con­tribut­ing fac­tors in­cluded a change in de­mo­graph­ics, with more young fam­i­lies mov­ing to the area, and also an in­creas­ing num­ber of per­ma­nent res­i­dents liv­ing at nearby pop­u­lar hol­i­day­ing spot Kaka Point.

In the let­ter to the min­is­ter, Rom­a­hapa School board of trustees chair­per­son Me­gan Carey says even if the school roll drops to the Min­istry of Edu- cation es­ti­mate of 75 chil­dren, it will still be ‘‘sig­nif­i­cantly over­crowded’’.

The let­ter out­lines dis­cus­sion with ed­u­ca­tion min­istry rep­re­sen­ta­tives over the last 18 months to bring the roll to a more man­age­able level.

How­ever, the sit­u­a­tion had reached an im­passe, with the over­crowd­ing is­sue be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ur­gent. Witt said. ‘‘We just weren’t get­ting any­where with the min­istry, so we’ve had to take the next step.’’

MARY-JO /TOHILL/STUFF

Rom­a­hapa School, near Bal­clutha.

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