COST VS COOL
Singapore is a hot and humid country. Understandably, students tend to either arrive in class perspiring, or return to class after recess or physical education (PE) class in a spot of bother. What are the costs of studying under such a warm tropical climate?
Concentration affects learning. When the temperature rises, both students and teachers cannot concentrate for long. Biologically, when people are in very cold or hot environments, they cannot help but focus on the uncomfortable ambient temperature, which affects teaching and learning.
In a hot classroom, not only do teachers and students perform at sub-par levels, headaches and heat-related physical issues start creeping in. Also, warm indoor temperatures make students drowsy – sometimes without their knowing it.
So, why isn’t there air conditioning in all government schools?
The costs can be prohibitive. It is not cheap to have aircon in every school. Imagine the electricity bill MOE has to fork out to finance all its primary schools, secondary and JC schools – there are hundreds of them all across Singapore, multiplied by the number of classrooms in each school.
There might be a reasonable compromise. Not every classroom can be air-conditioned, as that would be too expensive. However, there should be a far bigger percentage of classrooms that are, especially for the graduating classes of primary six students.