Over a quarter of Dutch schools have poor ventilation
Over a quarter of primary- and secondary schools in the Netherlands do not have adequate ventilation, Platform Perspectief Jongeren found in a study commissioned by the Ministry of Education. According to the researchers, there is too much uncertainty about who is responsible for fixing the ventilation in schools, NOS reports.
The national government, municipalities, and school boards point to each other when it comes to fixing the ventilation - something that's been on the agenda these past two years because, according to the health authorities, proper ventilation helps to limit the spread of the coronavirus via aerosols. "In many cases, it is unclear who bears the responsibility," Sven Annen of Platform Perspectief Jongeren said to NOS. "It has been clear for quite some time that there are problems with the ventilation in some schools. The fact that the responsibility lies with different parties leads to few new plans and projects."
The Platform called on the new Minister of Education to take control in solving the ventilation problems. That includes making sure there is enough money to do so. "Because some of the school boards and municipalities indicate that the money that has been made available is not enough," Annen said.
The researchers also said that teaching in smaller classes could improve ventilation. "That improves the quality of education, but of course also helps with better ventilation in the classroom," said Annen. "Although, of course, that cannot be arranged overnight, because extra teachers are needed for that. It is up to the Minister to make good plans for this."
The Minister should also examine with the schools whether their ventilation is being used optimally. "That is not the case in some schools at the moment. The ventilation is then well arranged on paper, but in practice could be a lot better."