Braving the heat yesterday, members of the National Federation of Teachers’ Unions rallied outside the Executive Yuan in Taipei, calling on the government to make air conditioners a basic requirement at elementary and junior-high schools.
The temperature in Taipei hit 38.4°C at 2:04pm yesterday, the highest this year and the second-hottest recorded in the capital in June since weather records started in 1896, the Central Weather Bureau said.
“While civil servants sit in air-conditioned rooms, students are in an inferno,” federation members chanted.
Photo: Lee Hsin-fang, Taipei Times
The federation in 2018 called on the central government to take heed of the extreme weather and install air conditioners in every classroom, but almost 2 million elementary and junior-high school students still do not have air conditioners, federation president Ho Chiun-liang (侯俊良) said.
This has put their health at risk and seriously affected their learning, as many students find it hard to concentrate when it is hot, he said.
When President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was seeking re-election last year, the federation asked her what her stance was on making air conditioners a requirement in every classroom, to which she replied that it could and should be done, he said.
The president also said that as local governments’ financial statuses vary, the installation rate might also vary, which showed that she was aware of the problem, he said, calling on Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to carry out Tsai’s policies.
The Taipei City Government says that 100 percent of its junior-high school and 92 percent of its elementary-school classrooms have air conditioners, while the number is only about 10 percent in New Taipei City, the federation said in a statement.
The Taichung City Government has asked temples to donate money so that schools can purchase air conditioners, as it would take the municipality 15 years to finish installing air conditioners in every classroom with the budget it has, the federation said.
In Kaohsiung, only about 40 percent of classrooms have air conditioners, it added.
Additional reporting by Hsiao Yu-hsin and CNA
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