By Aabigayle McIntosh
According to the Director of Education, Clare Browne, the Ministry of Education needs to conduct an assessment before considering the installation of air conditioning units in schools throughout the country.
This idea was initially proposed in Jamaica, where education officials are preparing to pilot the installation of air conditioning units in 30 schools in response to rising temperatures that are causing heat stress in students.
Education Minister Fayval Williams mentioned this development during the schools’ opening in September.
“Before you can begin to say cool classrooms and the rest of it, we have to make sure that we plan properly. So, we do a facility audit to see what is required,” Browne said.
He also explained that some of the schools are equipped with decorative blocks and an assessment will also have to be done where wiring is concerned to ensure the infrastructure is in place.
Mervin Browne of the Board of Education also stated,” Air Conditioning in the classrooms we are not sure how that will work out as yet. What we continue to do in the meantime, is to ensure the rooms are properly ventilated and add ceiling fans or wall falls where we can manage,” Browne said.
He said while having air-conditioning in the classrooms may sound like a good idea, it will require maintenance and a plan has to be developed for that to happen.