Students attending the Tvrdošín Joint Comprehensive School, which brought together the previously separate Electro-Technical Vocational School and Business Academy, had shortened lessons in mid February due to persistent freezing temperatures and cold classrooms. About one quarter of the 600 students protested in front of school on February 13, refusing to go to classes, resulting in a negotiated agreement with school officials that reduced the length of lessons by one-third.
“Since last week we have been trying to point out our problem and explain that to move from one class to another through corridors with temperatures around zero and then to sit in classrooms at about 13 degrees is a risk to our health,” one of the initiators of the protest told the TASR newswire. “We refused to go to lessons if nothing was done since many of us have already fallen ill due to the coldness of the school. Now, we have at least achieved a partial shortening of the lessons,” the student said.
The school’s headmaster, Ján Korenčiak, admitted there was a problem heating the connecting corridors, as they were originally just roofed paths connecting the individual buildings which later were glassed in but remain without heating. “However, I reject claims that the whole school was insufficiently heated. To the contrary, we exceeded the limits of daily heat consumption in recent weeks due to the record cold outside,” he stated.
“Nevertheless, we wanted to calm down the tense situation and accepted the [student’s] demand to reduce the time span of lessons and we allowed students to stay in the classrooms during the breaks. I don’t know if this is the right solution as after the shorter lessons many of them might wait longer for their afternoon trains and buses in the frost outside,” the headmaster said.
27. Feb 2012 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská