Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said on Monday air-conditioning units cannot be installed in schools even though the school year was delayed one week due to unseasonal high temperatures.
Students were meant to return to school on September 7, but after meetings with teachers’ unions, parents and other government officials last week, Prodromou announced schools would instead open on September 14, due to repeated high temperature alerts issued by the met office.
On Monday, a yellow weather warning was in effect from 1pm until 5pm with inland temperatures reaching 39 degrees C.
Speaking after a visit to Larnaca schools, Prodromou said the electricity authority (EAC) would start installing solar panels at 405 schools across Cyprus, and that those schools would have thermal insulation installed on their roofs.
Commenting on a suggestion from parents’ groups and teachers to install air-conditioning units, Prodromou said a study had already been carried out saying it was unnecessary.
“Most schools don’t have sufficient electricity output to support air-conditioning units. Even, if we brought systems to schools tomorrow to be set up, it would be impossible,” he said.
However, he added he was willing to discuss the matter, now that 405 schools would also undergo insulation works.
Last winter there were issues with heating in some schools, which were not caused by the units, but by the power, he said.
He reiterated that based on coronavirus protocols, classrooms will have to have their doors and windows open to aerate the spaces.