Tuesday, 4 December 1990
Dáil Éireann Debate
260. Mr. Nealon asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to the fact that (a) the library in Sligo Regional Technical College with approximately 90 seats for 1,300 students is totally inadequate in size (b) the library is also completely understaffed with a ratio of one staff member to each 500 students (c) Sligo Regional Technical College is unable to shelve books purchased because of lack of shelf space, lack of staff time to reshelve, and lack of any security system in the library (d) next year the college will be forced to spend the full library budget of £14,000 on purchasing a security system as opposed to the purchase of up-to-date books (e) the library lacks adequate emergency exits and (f) this problem can only be addressed by the building of a new library, provision of adequate staff and provision of an increased budget for library expenditure; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
261. Mr. Nealon asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to the fact that (a) first and third year art and design students of Sligo Regional Technical College do not study in the main college but in accommodation in Quay Street, Sligo, a considerable distance away (b) there is total lack of adequate space for students in Quay Street with overcrowding in the classrooms and no auxiliary space (c) students have complained of the classrooms being draughty and cold during the day and (d) in order to avail of library facilities these 80 students have to come to the main college building which is 25 minutes' walk away; if she intends to make any provision to have this situation alleviated; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
My Department are aware of the situation in Sligo Regional Technical College and have been in touch with the college authorities as is normally the case. There are plans for the improvement of library facilities in the college and it is hoped to make progress on the matter shortly. There are no plans for accommodating students at present in the premises at  Quay Street in the main part of the college, but I would hope that as finance becomes available improvements would be made in the Quay Street premises.
The position with regard to library staffing in the colleges in general is under consideration at present. I propose to engage in further consultation on the matter with a view to getting agreement on an appropriate structure. It is hoped also to address the question of general library expenditure.
262. Mr. Nealon asked the Minister for Education if it is intended to continue the course in industrial design in Sligo Regional Technical College which was introduced into the college in 1989; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
263. Mr. Nealon asked the Minister for Education if it is intended to extend the marketing and languages diploma course at Sligo Regional Technical College to a degree course; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
264. Mr. Nealon asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to the fact that students and staff in the social studies course in Sligo Regional Technical College are keen to have the college offer a diploma as well as a certificate in social studies and that the college applied last year for such a course; and if she will outline the present position.
The establishment and continuation of  courses in regional technical colleges is a matter in the first instance for individual college managements having regard to the requirements of the course validating agency. All new courses require the prior approval of my Department.
No proposals for the initiation of a degree course in marketing and languages or a diploma course in social studies have been received in my Department to date. I understand also that the college management proposes to continue the course in industrial design.
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