Education experts recently called for air conditioning to be installed in all classrooms in Queensland after hotter than ever summers across Australia in 2012 and 2013. Despite renewed calls, The Queensland Government still have ruled out funding for air conditioning in classrooms – for the time being at least. The continued calls for air conditioning in learning environments comes from years of research which has uncovered a link between decreased learning and information retention in hot temperatures.
As office workers return to working in air conditioned comfort and teachers to staff rooms with air conditioning, spare a thought for the majority of kids in Queensland, especially in the Far north and the west who aren’t offered the same comfort in the classroom – also a workplace.
Of course many will argue that they coped fine in their school days without air conditioned classrooms, and air conditioning is a luxury that we can do without. But many of these same people work in air conditioned environments, and we’d challenge them to do their work effectively in an office without air conditioning during some of the hottest days of the year. Would these same people be willing to drive a car without air conditioning?
It’s also easy to apply this argument to any form of change. We also used to cope without mobile phones and the internet, but the world has changed. The truth is we have the ability and technology to create a safer, more productive and effective learning environment when it’s needed during extreme temperatures, so why not use it?
Air conditioning in all classrooms might challenge the status quo but if there’s a place where it’s needed it is in Queensland but also throughout the country as 2013 was the hottest summer recorded in Australia.
Reasons for Air Conditioned Classrooms in Queensland
- 25 plus kids cramped in a hot space in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees can create a disruptive and ineffective learning environment and extra challenges for teachers to teach mentally demanding lessons
- Most teachers agree it would make their job easier during hot days and mean less disruptions.
- Many older school buildings are thermally inefficient with poor air flow and ventilation. This exacerbates the need for air conditioning due to heat absorbed through roofing. When the temperature reaches a certain point ceiling fans do not effectively provide adequate relief.
- Young children are more prone to heat stress than adults and faster dehydration. Especially after PE lessons or running around during lunch breaks this heat stress can cause headaches, blurred vision and create lethargy which AC could combat.
- The right environment including temperature will contribute positively to a learning environment. During hot days kids will be eager to get back into an air conditioned classroom after being outside during lunch and recess.
- Would allow greater flexibility for teacher to schedule more complex science and math lessons during the hotter parts of the day.
We understand the cost must come from somewhere, but we think this should be made a priority by policy makers. One thing is certain: it’s clear that this issue is not going away, and with temperatures rising and a hotter Australia in the future, the ‘cool school’ movement is one that we are confident will continue to gather momentum
Crown Power are your team of south east Queensland commercial air conditioning experts and can install an affordable air conditioning solution for all workplaces, including schools and education facilities across Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Get in touch with us today!