All Dutch school classrooms to get a CO2 detector

Every school classroom in The Netherlands is to get a carbon dioxide monitor, as part of a series of measures to ensure schools have healthier air.

The government says it will provide extra funding to help address ventilation issues in schools across the country, which have been brought into sharp focus by the pandemic.Students, it says, need healthy air to learn and teachers must be able to stand safely in front of the class. Because better ventilation is needed, there will also be a dedicated helpline for schools, providing an ’emergency service’ of experts.

The measures were agreed by Dennis Wiersma, Minister for Primary and Secondary Education (PO Council); the Primary and Secondary Education Council (the representatives of primary and secondary education) and the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG).

‘Students need healthy air to learn’

Dennis Wiersma said: “Teachers and students have the right to healthy air in the classroom. Especially in this corona time, we have to do everything we can to keep schools open responsibly. School boards and municipalities are working hard to improve ventilation. But we still see too many schools where it is not yet good and that simply has to improve quickly.”

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, is providing around 17 million Euros to fund the CO2 monitors, while schools which have already purchased one will be reimbursed.

Freddy Weima, of the PO Council, said: “It is good that the minister is paying attention to the bad buildings in primary, special and secondary education. We work on tailor-made solutions for the most urgent situations where more is needed in the building. We will also make agreements to make all school buildings educationally adaptive, healthy, accessible and sustainable in the longer term.”

Eelco Eerenberg of VNG, said: “Covid has taught us the usefulness and necessity of good ventilation. At the moment there are still too many buildings and locations where the ventilation in buildings is not yet in order. That is why we are happy with this tailor-made approach in which urgent situations are dealt with quickly.”

Author: Simon Weedy

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