Cyprus Mail

Primary parents to meet education minister next week to discuss air conditioning

Prodromos Prodromou

The primary school parents’ association will meet with the Education Ministry on Tuesday September 15 to discuss the issue of air-conditioning in schools, a ministry announcement said Thursday.

According to the association, solutions need to be found due to the difficult weather conditions in Cyprus. The original opening day of schools was delayed until September 14, because of unseasonal high temperatures affecting the island, necessitating the met office to issue temperature warnings.

The parents groups, which will meet the ministry officials a day after schools open, previously called for air conditioning to be installed in schools to help deal with the heat, however the ministry has said according to previous studies there is no need for air-conditioning in schools.

However, the ministry said it was willing to discuss the matter.

Last week, the ministry also said a programne to install insulation in school roofs and solar panels would begin.  They electricity authority will be taking on the cost of the solar panel units in 405 schools, which will be paid back by the ministry over a ten-year period.

The parents’ association on Thursday also suggested schools consider planting roof-top gardens to insulate, along with better shades on windows in the classrooms.

“Climate change has resulted in very high temperatures being observed, during the school year,” the parents’ group said in their statement.

Last week, Education Minister Prodromos 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.

Last winter there were issues with heating in some schools, which were not caused by the units, but by the power, he said.

He also said based on coronavirus protocols, classrooms will have to have their doors and windows open to aerate the spaces.  As part of the protocols, students over age 12, teachers, and staff will be required to where face masks in all closed areas of the school.

On Thursday, the transport ministry also announced all students, regardless of age, riding a school bus will be required to wear a face masks on the bus, otherwise they will not be allowed on.

Students will be allowed on the bus without masks only if they have permission from a doctor, which will have to be submitted to the school’s directorate for approval.

After receiving approval from the school, which will be presented to the bus driver every time, the student will be allowed to ride the bus.

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