Saturday 18 September 2021

Concerns about ventilation as Dutch school year begins

Back to school…but safely? Photo: Depositphotos

As schools in the northern Netherlands restart, one teaching union has claimed that ventilation is still not adequate.

The AD reports on Monday that a third of members of the CNV Onderwijs union say that their primary school is properly aired to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread. In secondary schools, the proportion is 34% and in vocational MBO schools it is just 23%, reports the AD.

Although caretaker education minister Arie Slob said last week that schools will be given €100 million extra this year to improve the situation, from a €360 million, three-year budget, teachers are still concerned.

Chair of CNV Onderwijs Daniëlle Woestenberg told the AD that the figures were shocking. ‘In ordinary times, poor ventilation causes sickness and leave,’ she reportedly said. ‘You would expect that corona would have been a catalyst to solve a problem that has existed for years, but this is not happening enough and everyone is passing the buck.’

According to the paper, air quality does not meet regulatory norms in 9300 school locations and the average building is 40 years old.

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