Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron has appealed to parents to be patient with the ministry as it struggles to equip all schools with enough fans and air conditioning units during a current hot spell in the Kingdom.
On Monday, Mr Chuon Naron attended a seminar on boosting e-learning in the country and said that the ministry has issued guidelines for both state and private education institutes to protect students during the hot season, including ensuring there is enough water at the schools and opening doors and windows to allow air to ventilate.
Mr Chuon Naron went on to add that not all schools have enough fans or AC units to keep students cool, noting that not all schools have a big enough budget for the equipment or cannot afford the electricity for using them.
“The ministry does not have the ability to install air conditioners and fans in all schools yet, but the students’ parents can help in this situation as they can,” Mr Chuon Naron said.
He said that some parents who have visited their kids’ classrooms, and can afford to help, have donated money or fans to keep students cool.
“We have also told school directors to give students a break if they get too hot, and this will be left to their discretion so that students are not just skipping out of lessons,” he added. “If students get too hot in class, teachers can allow them to go outside the class, or change locations of the class.”
He added that some schools are also facing a water shortage, but noted that the ministry has provided a budget to them to buy water for students. In some cases, ministry officials will also visit such schools and distribute water.
Oum Chantha, a teacher at Chambak Kuy primary school in Svay Rieng province, yesterday said that her school just bought ceiling fans and installed them in all six classrooms.
“There are two ceiling fans in each classroom. My 30 students are happy and feeling good when studying now,” she said.
Ms Chantha said that most of her students often asked permission from her to go home early due to headaches from the heat before the school got ceiling fans.
“During a meeting this morning, the teachers requested the school director buy standing fans for us as well because we are also hot,” Ms Chantha said, noting that some teachers will also buy the fans themselves.