The Ministry of Education yesterday said it would launch a project to ensure that each classroom in the nation’s public elementary, junior-high and high schools are equipped with air-conditioners by 2025.
The project would first upgrade the electrical systems of some of the older schools before air-conditioners are installed to ensure better energy efficiency, the ministry said, adding that air-conditioners would be installed in more than 100,000 classrooms nationwide.
Several teachers’ and parents’ groups have over the past few years been calling for air-conditioners in classrooms amid record-high temperatures nationwide, the ministry said.
The number of days that temperatures have exceeded 35°C in Taipei has increased from 39 to 56 per year over the past decade, it said, citing Central Weather Bureau data.
The nation has 10,708 public schools below university level that are more than 20 years old and the ministry would improve their electrical systems in the first phase of the project, which is to run from next year to 2023, it said.
An estimated 53,981 regular classrooms and 35,610 vocational training classrooms are expected to benefit from the upgrades, it added.
In the second phase, which is to run from 2023 to 2025, the ministry would ensure that each classroom in the nation’s public schools below university level has air-conditioning, it said.
The nation has more than 138,000 classrooms at public elementary and secondary schools — about 19,000 classrooms at high schools and vocational high schools, and about 119,000 at elementary and junior-high schools — but about 100,000 classrooms lack air-conditioning, the ministry said.
The project would cost NT$35.6 billion (US$1.2 billion), most of which would be provided by the central government to prevent the rural-urban gap in campus resources widening due to the different financial capabilities of local governments, it said.
For the first phase, the ministry would apply for a public construction fund of NT$23.05 billion from the central government, while local governments would need to raise a total of NT$2.55 billion, it said.
The second phase would require NT$10 billion, which would be included as an item into the Executive Yuan’s budget plans, it said.
The Executive Yuan has received the project and is reviewing it, the ministry added.
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