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High school students are sweating, sick in hot temporary classrooms

Date Posted: 2008-07-10

More than 1,000 Industrial High School students are complaining about being forced to study in un-air conditioned classrooms, and some are getting sick because of the heat.

“It’s too hot, and we can’t study at all,” students are telling school officials. “Do something, please.” The students are relegated to temporary classrooms while the Okinawa Prefecture-owned Industrial High School is under construction renovations. The school has installed two electric fans, but students say they don’t help reduce the heat.

The Industrial High School principal confirms “about 20 students have been visiting the health clinic every day, telling how bad they’re feeling and asking for air conditioning.” Temperatures are running 35C (74F) to 40C (84F), and students say nothing is being done to cool the classrooms.

The Prefecture Board of Education says “we don’t have budget money to put air conditioning in the temporary classrooms.” A board official says “we can spread water on the roof by sprinklers, and put more fans in, but the new school building is to be completed by next February.” The school principal has erected temporary shade nets over each classroom, but students say they’re no help at all.

Governor Hirokazu Nakaima has been pressed on the issue, and an Okinawa Prefecture Assembly member attending a school business meeting was also told something needs to be done, because students are feeling bad and cannot study.

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