Cyprus teachers call for air conditioners in public school classrooms
Public school teachers are calling on the government to move forward with the installation of air condition units in classrooms, with the government raising health concerns while looking into the possibility.
Following a number of disagreements between government officials and state educators in an effort to reform the system, union teachers have armed themselves with thermometers to prove to Education Ministry administrators that temperatures inside the classroom can reach 30 degrees Celsius as early as 8 a.m.
In a social media post on Facebook, POED teachers union leader Filios Fylaktou said even on an otherwise normal day, the thermometer indicated 30 degree indoor temperature.
“It’s 8:10am on a ‘regular’ day weatherwise and temperature inside the classroom has already reached 30 degrees Celsius!!!” Fylaktou wrote.
Teachers and organised parents have been calling on the government to make good on its pre-election campaign promise and find necessary funds to install air condition units in state public schools.
But ministry officials have been reluctant to look into air condition installations, citing health concerns over the summer such as students falling ill inside frozen classrooms.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, officials have not ruled out climate-controlled schools, citing new studies underway that set up criteria for making new schools air-condition-ready.
Some current schools are also on a possible list to receive air condition units, according to Kathimerini.
But the debate remains open and no final decisions have been made.
Fylaktou criticised the reluctance on the part of officials, who base their counter arguments on the concern that children would be hanging outside in 40 degree weather and then getting inside in climate-controlled rooms.
"Gentlemen, you are unbelievable," Fylaktou said in another comment, suggesting that students shouldn't ever have to go outside in 40 degree weather.
The educator said there should be areas within schools that provide shade to students. [Kathimerini Cyprus]