Air-con in school not so cool any more

Air-con in school not so cool any more

SINGAPORE - Some schools sell themselves on their academic achievements. Others tout their sporting excellence.

But for government-aided Yuying Secondary in Hougang, air-conditioned classrooms were its unique selling point.

On the school's website, air-conditioning for its hall and classrooms for upper secondary students was listed as one of the top reasons parents should send their children there, together with school-based cash awards for academic excellence and additional mathematics offered to all Secondary 3 students.

But now, Yuying has had to cut back on its air-con usage, as the Ministry of Education (MOE) urges schools to watch their energy consumption.

Students told The New Paper that they are now allowed to switch on the air-con in class only in the mornings to cool the room. For the rest of the day, they have to make do with fans.

When contacted by TNP, the school said some of the air-conditioners were provided by the contractors who were constructing its indoor sports hall a few years ago.

"Air-conditioning was used in some of our classrooms near the sports hall as we found that the noise level from the hall affected lessons in the nearby classrooms," said Ms Ho Ping Ping, Yuying's vice-principal.

After the sports hall was completed, the school kept the air-conditioners but usage was cut. For example, only one out of two air-con units in each classroom is turned on.

Earlier this month, The Straits Times had reported that funding to some Independent Schools had been cut and they had been told by the MOE to cut down air-con usage in classrooms and install fans instead.

This stirred up much debate among parents over whether schools needed to be air-conditioned, with even former People's Action Party election candidate Koh Poh Koon commenting about the issue on social media.

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