As Antigua and Barbuda and other parts of the world endure heat waves over the past several weeks, Minister of Education Daryll Matthew said the ministry now has to give serious consideration to installing air conditioning units in schools across the country.
Speaking on the ‘Point in the Morning’ radio programme, Matthew said the ministry must now be concerned about the hot and humid classroom conditions under which the students are asked to study.
He noted that not long ago, this was not a consideration, but with the impact of climate change affecting weather systems the world over, education officials must
now give serious thought to students’ comfort in the classroom.
“We, as a nation, felt that if it got hot, all that was needed was to put fans in the classrooms and you are okay. Now the fans are blowing hot air and what is required is a proper climate control environment, which are air conditioning units
in our classrooms. However, that poses a problem, as many of our school buildings are old, having been constructed 40 to 50 years ago.
Putting a/c’s in these buildings leads to another problem; the wiring in these buildings which are not adequate to accommodate a/c units,” he explained.
Minister Matthew said it is going to require a multi-discipline approach to re-wire the school buildings across the country, and this would come at a high cost.
He added that anyone who recently built a house and made note of the cost to do the
wiring would have an appreciation of the anticipated cost associated with a project of this size.
“It is not an overnight ‘quick fix,’ but it is definitely something that we have placed on our agenda, that we must undertake to ensure so our students can learn and be taught in a comfortable environment,” he remarked. POINTE XPRESS
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