High energy bill pressuring quality of education, schools say
The skyrocketing gas price and high energy bills are causing problems for schools, which are forced to cut back on their teaching materials and personnel budget. The quality of education is at risk, and the government needs to help with price compensation, Freddy Weima of primary schools' council PO-Raad said to BNR.
According to PO-Raad, almost half of primary schools struggle with high energy prices. The other half have fixed energy contracts, so they will only feel the consequences later. Three-quarters of schools are also using more energy to increase ventilation and prevent the coronavirus from spreading at school, Weima said.
Schools don't have the money to carry these extra energy costs. "The budget is still based on standards from the 1980s and is not sufficient for most schools," Weima said to the broadcaster. As a result, schools are now forced to cut money elsewhere to keep the lights and heating on.
Another problem is that many school buildings are outdated, which means they're poorly insulated and have to spend more on heating. "If 30 percent of school buildings have energy label G, then you understand the rising energy price is a huge problem," Weima said.
The PO-Raad wants the Cabinet to make school buildings more sustainable, but negotiating will take months. The Cabinet, therefore, needs to first address the acute problem of the high energy prices, Weima said. "We hope that the government will offer price compensation."