As the world experiences heat waves, including Antigua and Barbuda, Minister of Education Daryll Matthew stated that the ministry has to consider installing air conditioning units in schools across the country.
Speaking on the ‘Point in the Morning’ radio program, Matthew said that the ministry now needs to address the hot and humid conditions in classrooms which make it difficult for students to study.
In the past, this was not a concern, but the impact of climate change has forced education officials to take the comfort of students seriously.
Installing air conditioning units in schools presents a challenge as many of the school buildings are old, constructed 40 to 50 years ago.
Thus, placing air conditioning units in these buildings would require additional wiring, which is not adequate to accommodate the units.
Minister Matthew explained that it would require a multi-discipline approach to re-wire the school buildings across the country, which would come at a high cost.
The wiring cost would be significant and would be similar to that of building a new house.
Matthew emphasized that the installation of air conditioning units in classrooms is not an overnight solution.
It is a long-term project that requires careful planning, a significant investment of resources, and a multi-discipline approach.
However, it is imperative to place this project on the agenda to ensure that students learn and are taught in a comfortable environment.