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17 July, 2024
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Minister: Air conditioners coming to 50 schools

Too little, too late?

Newsroom / CNA

The Ministry of Education, Sports, and Culture will install air conditioners in 50 schools in the coming days, with a three-year plan in place to equip all schools where installation is feasible, Minister Athina Michaelidou announced Thursday.

Speaking at a student awards ceremony, Michaelidou explained that the aim was to begin the installation process earlier, but procedural delays pushed the timeline back. The procurement process concluded on May 31, and installations will start soon, with 10 schools in each province selected based on specific criteria.

"We're starting with Nicosia and Limassol, where conditions are more favorable for the first installations," Michaelidou said. Following the initial installations, a comprehensive plan will address the installation of air conditioners in all suitable schools over the next three years.

Schools undergoing environmental upgrades or complete reconstruction, as well as those in mountainous areas where air conditioning is unnecessary, will not be included in the plan.

Parental Consultation Rejects Staying at Home

Michaelidou also addressed the possibility of allowing children to stay home due to the heat, a suggestion brought up by educational organizations. This option was rejected in consultation with parents, as not all parents can supervise their children during school hours.

"The readiness to discuss proposals for managing the situation and supporting changes in the school schedule is there," Michaelidou said. She emphasized that school principals need to make judgment calls to support children who are not feeling well or require air-conditioned spaces.

The Ministry has cooperated with the Ministry of Health to issue guidelines for school principals on protecting vulnerable children from high temperatures.

Smooth Examination Process

Regarding the progress of secondary education examinations, Michaelidou noted that final exams will conclude tomorrow, with Pancyprian exams beginning on June 10.

"So far, there have been no significant issues," she said, acknowledging minor complaints about the difficulty or length of some exams. Experts have been instructed to assess and mark the papers with great care to favor the students.

The focus will now shift to the Pancyprian exams, which play a crucial role in determining students' futures.

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