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Lack of basic provisions major disrespect towards educators and disservice to students

July 11, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Lack of basic provisions major disrespect towards educators and disservice to students

The MUT has repeatedly made appeals to the Ministry for Education and Employment that since school buildings are being used throughout the year, there has to be an investment on proper heating, cooling and ventilation in all parts of the school building. Everyone is aware that all Government buildings which provide services to the public are fully equipped with these systems. However schools are not. This is a major disrespect towards educators who work in such heat/cold and a disservice to students.

Most schools, which were built in the past thirty years, do not in fact have any provisions for keeping heat outside in summer and similarly heat inside in winter. For over a decade, the emphasis was only on the design and not on the practical aspects of the building. This includes the inclusion of large glass panels which act as a greenhouse and raise the inside temperature of most schools to unacceptable levels in the summer months.

Similarly, most schools lack any thermal insulation, either because they are old buildings with timber or iron doors/windows which do not insulate well, or else because the investment was in the design over the practicality as explained. Only recently, the design of new schools has including the provision of air conditioning systems but there is a whole variation in this. For example some schools, who had new extensions, have AC systems installed in the extensions but not in the old part of the buildings even if they were refurbished. Thus some students are lucky whilst others in different classroom of the same school are not. Similarly, some students may be lucky in their transition from primary to secondary to have AC in their classrooms whilst others are not. The lack of uniformity in this sense, including the school building itself, is even leading some parents to choose one school over another.

To add another element to this situation, only a handful of schools have drinking fountains or the provision of a supply of fresh water (not from bathroom taps!). Again schools are the only buildings for public use where such facilities are not being provided. This proves that priorities are not set and whilst there were investments to provide better learning experiences to students including the so-called state of the art workshops, the investment in basic provisions is severely lacking.

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