x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

New air conditioners for schools

Public schools in Dubai and the Northern Emirates will get air-conditioning units to help them through the exam period.

DUBAI // More than 1,000 air-conditioning units have been given to public schools in Dubai and the Northern Emirates to replace old systems during the examination period.

The plan is to counter any breakdowns or emergencies that could disrupt pupils during their end-of-year exams, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education said.

The step comes after several principals complained about the poor maintenance of ACs and breakdowns that have caused discomfort to pupils and teaching staff as temperatures rise. Some children were becoming ill because of the heat and noisy units were making it hard to teach.

Ali Mihad al Suwaidi, director general of the ministry, said it was working with the education zones to solve the problem. "We are looking at hiring multiple maintenance firms to address the AC problem," he said. "We also want the schools to be more proactive in approaching us with their complaints and not waiting until the last moment to get them fixed."

Khawla al Mualla, assistant under-secretary for school activities and environment, said the ministry had opened the application process for repair companies to offer the service. "They will have to provide speedy and full replacement of broken units or repair partly-broken units and any accessories," she said. "This is in addition to preventive maintenance."

Meanwhile, the authority has provided 21 central AC units, 500 split units and more than 500 grid and mobile units to the schools.