To prove their point that air-conditioning is needed in classrooms during the summer, primary school teachers said on Wednesday that thermometers used the previous day recorded temperatures of up to 38C starting as early as 7.45am.
Teachers had responded to their union Poed’s call to measure temperatures in what its chairman described a symbolic move.
As early as 7.45am on Tuesday, the educators’ thermometers showed temperatures close to or above 30C in many classrooms while others measured 32C, 33C and even 38C.
“Effectively an effort was made to prove what is self-evident but the issue is that it brings the matter, which is not new, back into the spotlight,” Phylios Phylactou said on Wednesday.
He added that this time last year the matter was discussed by the House education committee and the ministry had announced a specific policy to study conditions inside classrooms.
Phylactou said the issue was part of the wider chapter of health and safety and ways had to be found to overcome problems because for at least five months of the school year it was difficult for anyone to work.
Of Tuesday’s measurements, Phylactou said they just used basic thermometers. If specialised equipment were to be used, measuring humidity and air quality, the results would be far worse, he said.
On Tuesday, the education ministry said air conditioning in schools was unnecessary since they are closed when it is hottest in the early afternoon, and during the summer holidays.
The ministry was against the idea of installing air-conditioning inside all school buildings though they exist in computer labs and headteachers’ offices.
In September last year, 100 pupils in Limassol’s Lanitio Lyceum were suspended for a day after they refused to go to class because there was no air-conditioning.