The government has allocated €30 million for the maintenance of ventilation systems in schools and kindergartens, following findings that a third of classrooms have inadequate ventilation. The issue relates primarily to the coronavirus, while risk can be measured via monitoring levels of carbon dioxide, exhaled by those using the facility.
Local governments can apply for funds on behalf of educational institutions, as well as schools themselves and, education minister Liina Kersna (Reform) says, slightly more than half of them have already done so.
The minister said that naturally-ventilated classrooms should have their CO2 levels monitored, which requires special sensors – for which funding can also be sought.
The CO2 sensors are, however, a stop-gap measure, ERR's online news in Estonian reports, and proper, mechanized ventilation systems are the required long-term solution, and these naturally cost more. Of the €30 million earmarked, €15 million is being distributed in the first round of applications.
Seventy-percent of classrooms have air conditioning systems. Natural ventilation is inadequate to combat high levels of CO2, it is reported.
The new school year starts on September 1. Schools will be engaged in in-class learning, rather than remote learning.
Editor: Andrew Whyte