Installation of air-conditioning in
primary and secondary schools
This paper outlines the arrangement for providing air-conditioning in public sector primary and secondary schools.
2. In all public sector schools, principal's offices, staff rooms, staff common rooms, interview rooms, general offices and some special rooms such as libraries and computer rooms are air-conditioned. Moreover, the Education Department introduced the Noise Abatement Programme in 1987 to provide air-conditioning and other noise abatement measures for classrooms and special rooms exposed to excessive traffic noise level at 65 dB(A) or above. Under this programme, the Government will air-condition 10 460 classrooms and special rooms in 600 public sector schools. So far, the installation of air-conditioners in 6 860 classrooms and special rooms in 400 of these schools has been completed. For the remaining 3 600 classrooms and special rooms in 200 schools, the installation of air-conditioners will be completed before the end of 1999.
3. Some Members of the legislature and educational bodies have suggested that air-conditioning should be provided for all classrooms and special schools. The Government should provide the capital cost of installing air-conditioners and parents the recurrent electricity cost. If the proposal were to be implemented, the Government would have to bear $5,000 million capital cost and each student to pay $200 per annum for electricity and maintenance charges. To air-condition all classrooms and special rooms would involve huge sums of money which would be a heavy burden on resources for education.
4. The Government has invested heavily and is actively pursuing programmes such as whole-day primary schooling, information technology in education, school improvement programme and improving school designs which have far-reaching impact on education. At the present stage, we will not consider air-conditioning all classrooms and special rooms.
5. On the other hand, air-conditioning of classrooms and special rooms may help individual schools, including some special schools, eliminate or alleviate serious environmental disturbances or help them address special needs. We will, on a case by case basis, consider air-conditioning the classrooms and special rooms in these schools.