We still haven’t had a full week of cold weather in 2017 yet, but we bet a sizable number of people you know have already caught a cold or an annoying cough. Well, those numbers are much likelier to be higher if the people you know attend public schools in Buenos Aires City, as a survey conducted by teachers revealed that at least 45 institutions — two of them kindergartens — don’t have an appropriate heating system to deal with winter weather.
This initiative was spearheaded by members of teachers union Ademys, who published a preliminary list of affected schools on Facebook. Hours later, parents and other teachers contributed with information of their own. “The lack of heating has been a problem in City schools for years but with this cold it becomes critical. In my school it’s already extremely cold and most of the kids who attend come from vulnerable families, so their clothing is not [heavy] enough to face the cold,” a teacher from a school in Villa Soldati told Página 12.
The list includes primary and high schools, as well as two kindergartens in the neighborhoods of Caballito and Saavedra. The most frequent problems are: lack of gas due to a precarious infrastructure, delays in the provision of heating systems and the fact that companies who are called to fix the ones that have broken take longer than they should.
Schools in the Buenos Aires Province face a similar situation, only to a much larger scale. in a recent study, Officials from Province’s Education Ministry revealed that more than half of the territory’s 12,000 public school buildings face severe deficiencies in terms of heating and insulation.
The main difference with its City counterpart so far is that, in an attempt to tackle this issue, the provincial Ministry decided to increase the funds destined to buy and/or re-condition schools to deal with winter temperatures by more than 400 percent compared to last year: from AR $13 million in 2016 to more than AR $68 this one.
The Buenos Aires City government has yet to issue a statement regarding the matter.