Cyprus’ Scientific and Technical Chamber’s (ETEK) controversial position on the installation of air conditioners – especially the split type – in schools has created a racket causing the tone of the Education Committee’s meeting in Parliament to change on Wednesday.
It caused unrest between the MPs, and Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou was called on to present the specs on the general design of the project.
Whilst the image created around the installation of air conditioners in schools in the last few days reflected the agreement and common will of all parties involved, during the meeting in Parliament, it became clear that there are strong disagreements even from scientists, causing concern amongst MPs.
ETEK opposes the installation of air conditioners in schools due to air quality, an issue it previously raised with the Ministry of Education in November 2019 after conducting a study for them.
They propose instead a series of passive measures and alternatives that can be taken in schools, which are also less expensive; like the installation of ceiling fans, shelters, thermal insulation of roofs, natural cooling and planting.
As explained by the representative of ETEK, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Architecture of the University of Cyprus Aimilios Michael, the Ministry’s decision lacks scientific and technical documentation.
For his part, the lead researcher of the Laboratory of Energy and Environmental Design of Buildings and deputy director of the Polytechnic School of the University of Cyprus Apostolos Michopoulos, pointed out that the World Health Organisation’s recommendations due to the pandemic say that air conditioning units are to be turned off as fresh air circulation is needed.
On the other hand, educational organisations and the Pancyprian Student Coordinating Committee are in favour of installation of air conditioners in schools, stating that the conditions inside classrooms are unbearable welcoming the Ministry of Education’s decision.