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Opposition seeks Govt explanation on recorded low temperatures in classrooms

Both the GSD Opposition and Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon yesterday called for action following the news low temperatures recorded in classrooms.

They were reacting to the statement by the NASUWT, the Gibraltar Teachers’ Association, on Monday when it flagged the “inadequate heating” in many of Gibraltar’s schools and called for them to be equipped an effective heating system.

The GSD Opposition said it had noted with concern that classroom temperatures had reached as low as 10 degrees and called on the Government and the Education Authorities to fully explain to parents why such low temperatures had been recorded.

It further called on the Government to explain how it intended to resolve this type of recurring problem in order to ensure that no pupils sit in such cold classrooms for any given length of time.

In a statement yesterday, the Opposition said, it was equally worrying that even after an hour’s worth of heaters use the classroom temperature only rose to 13 degrees.

“As the GTA have stated 18 degrees is the minimum level classroom temperatures should record whilst in use,” said the statement.

Also voicing her concerns on the issue is Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon who yesterday reminded Government in a statement that as far back as February last year she had asked in Parliament if “an adequate audit been carried out in recent years to ascertain present levels of heating classrooms in our schools?”

The Minister for Education then, she said, responded by saying that they had carried out an audit in 2012 which included an assessment of temperature controls in classrooms and that “classroom temperatures are checked on a regular basis and flagged if they drop beneath what is considered a healthy working environment. Action to remedy this situation is then taken.”

But she emphasised yesterday it now transpires that the temperatures are neither “checked on a regular basis or flagged if they drop beneath what is considered a healthy working environment. And also it appears that no action is then taken to remedy this situation, as I was then assured.”

Mrs Hassan Nahon said she was truly sorry for the teachers and students that this was the case today.

“I call on Government to take this matter seriously and introduce immediate action in order to avoid the potential negative effects, ranging from colds, poor health, lack of concentration and general misery for those enduring sub acceptable temperatures, as well as a negative impact on the overall quality of the education service,” she added.

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