By Peter Stevenson
THE education ministry has ordered school boards to remove any unnecessary air-conditioning units or heaters from schools and kindergartens in a bid to save energy and money.
A circular was sent out by the technical services of the ministry to the heads of each school board on May 23 detailing which rooms air-conditioning units and heaters are permitted.
“Our aim is to save energy and money as well as dealing with the problems created with too many heaters and air-conditioning units being used, overloading circuit-boards,” head of technical services at the ministry Andreas Pattichis said.
According to the circular, the areas permitted are the headmaster’s office, the school secretary’s office but only when they work during July and August, special education classrooms, school amphitheatres and auditoriums and the school nurse’s room. Air-conditioning units and heaters are also permitted in the computer server room and prefabricated classrooms.
Heaters are allowed to be used in areas where there is no central heating system and only during the winter period.
All-day schools are exempt from these rules and are permitted to have air-conditioning units in classrooms where classes will take place in the afternoon.
“We call upon the schools to immediately remove all air-conditioning units and portable heaters that are not in the permitted areas,” Pattichis said. He added that if any schools wished to install any heaters or air-conditioning units they need to get written permission from technical services.
“Checking and adhering to these rules is each school board’s responsibility so if the schools fail to adhere then the accounts department of the education ministry will be informed to cut money from that school’s operating expenses from the following year’s budget,” he added.
Pattichis revealed that random checks would be carried out during the school year by officials from the technical services to make sure nobody is breaking the rules.