NOS News•Today, 05:33
Schools are obliged to install a working CO2 meter in every classroom. Minister Wiersma for Primary and Secondary Education wants to quickly fix the ventilation in schools, now that the corona infections are rising again. About 40 percent of schools still do not have a CO2 meter in all classrooms, according to a poll.
In recent months, hundreds of schools have been working through a special support team to improve ventilation and air quality. Thousands of CO2 meters have been installed that warn if the air quality in the classroom is not good.
“A number of schools have not gone that far yet, so we need to step up a bit,” says Wiersma. That is why the CO2 meter is mandatory in every room. This already applied to newly built and renovated primary school buildings, but now also to existing schools.
The obligation will formally take effect from next school year, i.e. 2023-2024. It cannot be done sooner, because it takes time to adjust the Building Decree. But Wiersma urges schools not to wait so long.
Schools no longer closed
Many schools already have the meters on order, but not all of them. The minister considers it necessary to be prepared in all places for increasing contamination figures. In previous corona waves, schools often turned out to be hotbeds of outbreaks.
For that reason, the cabinet decided to close schools several times during the corona period. There was a lot of criticism because of the learning disadvantages that arose and because parents had to stay at home to take care of their children. The starting point is now not to close the schools because of corona.
Wiersma also wants to encourage schools to use air purifiers to improve the indoor climate. Schools in Staphorst are experimenting with this to see if it works. The minister would like to expand this trial and is calling on schools to join it.
The subsidy budget for schools with acute ventilation problems has been increased significantly. Under this scheme, schools can receive a maximum of 60 percent of the costs back from the government.