HOT TOPIC

Air­con­di­tion­ing schools only an­swer to our hot sum­mers

The Courier-Mail - - LETTERS -

IT’S en­cour­ag­ing to see that the Queens­land Teach­ers’ Union re­alises that heat in Queens­land class­rooms has a detri­men­tal ef­fect on stu­dents and their teach­ers.

Easy fix! In­stall air­con­di­tion­ing now to all class­rooms and work out how to fund it. The Gov­ern­ment man­ages to find the funds for ev­ery other gov­ern­ment build­ing, car and jail cell.

The real is­sue that needs ad­dress­ing is the fact that school chil­dren are still be­ing sent out dur­ing the hottest part of the day dur­ing th­ese months to play­grounds and to play sport which con­tin­ues through to De­cem­ber.

Surely the con­cern­ing rates of skin can­cer could be re­duced later in life if they had less ex­po­sure to the sun dur­ing th­ese times. No hat, no play, isn’t good enough. Avoid­ing ex­treme UV lev­els should be part of the equa­tion. El­iz­a­beth Lay­cock, Arana Hills THE Queens­land Gov­ern­ment should in­stall air­con­di­tion­ing in ev­ery class­room in the state.

Politi­cians in their of­fices at the top end of town wouldn’t even con­tem­plate go­ing to work in a build­ing that was not air­con­di­tioned, so why should our teach­ers and chil­dren?

Dur­ing his ten­ure as premier of Queens­land, Camp­bell New­man promised to air-con­di­tion Bris­bane’s fleet of buses and he kept his word. If pas­sen­gers ex­pect a cli­mate-con­trolled bus on a scorcher of a hot day then chil­dren and their teach­ers should be af­forded the same com­fort.

How can teach­ers be ex­pected to teach and stu­dents be ex­pected to learn if they are trapped in class­rooms which can top 38C and 40C in sum­mer. Those con­di­tions are not con­ducive to learn­ing. Lizzie Hay­don, Run­corn NOW there is a call to al­ter the Christ­mas/New Year school hol­i­days by com­menc­ing one week later dur­ing the sum­mer due to the ex­treme heat in school rooms.

The ques­tion I would pose is, if late Jan­uary, all of Fe­bru­ary and early March are our hottest months, what dif­fer­ence will start­ing one week later in De­cem­ber make?

The LNP Op­po­si­tion has made a pledge to air­con­di­tion all Queens­land schools, but what hap­pens in the mean­time to com­bat heat in the class­room?

In the US, many states close their schools dur­ing the snow-bound months then have con­tin­u­ous school dur­ing the sum­mer months.

Per­haps a rad­i­cal idea for Queens­land to over­come the ex­treme heat is­sues would be to com­mence what is now the Christ­mas/New Year hol­i­days in mid-Jan­uary and go into full re­cess un­til mid-March, a re­cess of eight weeks.

Then, when school recom­mences, go right through the year, with­out any breaks, un­til the Septem­ber/ Oc­to­ber hol­i­day re­cess.

There is no like­li­hood of any changes ac­cord­ing to the Queens­land Premier, ir­re­spec­tive of what the weather is like.

Per­haps a firm com­mit­ment to speed up the in­stal­la­tion of air­con­di­tion­ing in all state schools, sooner rather than later, may ap­pease the naysay­ers. Les Bryant, Du­rack IN THE 1950s and early ’60s stu­dents had to cope in class­rooms with bare tim­ber floor­boards and no fans, and the only air­con­di­tion­ing was an open win­dow. To top it all off, they had to put up with a hot, long 16-week term at the end of each school year.

Queens­land has a long, hot, hu­mid sum­mer and no amount of ad­just­ing the school year will help avoid this with­out air­con­di­tion­ing. Em­manuel Alex­ion, Ox­ley SO THE unions want to change the school dates. This is just an­other ex­am­ple of unions run­ning the state. Ralph Burge, Petrie

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