Back to school. Classroom ventilation systems? Here’s why not. Gavosto: if not maintained, they favor infection

With what security protocol are we going back to classes in september? “As far as we know, there is an important delay on the part of the Ministry of Health, which should have provided clear and timely information,” reports our director. Alessandro Giuliani during the appointment of LIVE school technology of 27 July.

And regarding the installation of the aerators, he comments: “There is an indication of the direct responsibility of the school leaders from the Ministry, but we know that it is not the leaders who are responsible for such an important game, but the local authorities”. A question on which Antonello Giannelli also expressed his opinion a few months ago: “It is well known that Law 23/1996 attributes the competence to install any system in schools exclusively to local authorities, certainly not to educational institutions”.

The statements of Matteo Salvini

Meanwhile, in these hours, the leader of the league Matteo Salviniin the middle of the election campaign, a Morning newson channel 5, stated that he will fight to overcome the obligation of masks in the classroom, since “the schools are equipped with ventilation systems on which we have put tens of millions of euros”, but despite the sure words of the leader del Carroccio, remember that ventilation systems are still lacking in most schools. To have them as they are 3% of the institutions, no more, according to data from the Gimbe Foundation. Because? Because the funds received by school leaders (starting from the decree Supports and then from Support bisthat goes through the various decrees Help) have different uses, and schools each have their own priority scale. In the case of Support bisfor example, 350 million euros have been allocated against Covid, but as mentioned, the fund was not created specifically for ventilation systems, but to act on all school emergencies in a pandemic.

Could the funds from the NRP be destined for ventilation systems?

But let’s clarify a not insignificant aspect that should underlie any debate about ventilation systems in the classroom: could the funds from the PNRR be used for these needs in light of the recovery and handling of Covid?

Let’s assume that, according to our newspaper’s estimate, at least 700 million euros would be needed, given that we are talking about 1000 or 2000 euros per year. classroom and that the classrooms are 370 thousand. “Just under a billion would be enough for the aerators, in short,” comments the director Giuliani in conversation with Andrea Gavostochairman of the Agnelli Foundation.

But President Gavosto questions the figures: at least two billion would be needed of euros, explains. And he also disputes the intended use of NRP’s funds.

“In this case, I can give a worthy answer because I am part of the ministerial commission for the guidelines for the 212 new schools built with the funds from the NRP, we have discussed it thoroughly in the commission – he clarifies. What I have learned is, that the guidelines speak for mechanical ventilation systems. But in reality they cannot be prescribed, for two reasons: 1) because the estimate you have given is downward, and when a mechanical ventilation system is installed, a structural intervention must be made, for example regarding the school’s electrical system, so the numbers; 2) because the NRP’s funds are investment funds and cannot be used for the general maintenance of the facilities “and instead the maintenance-free ventilation systems of the facilities are directly dangerous.

“Mechanical ventilation systems, if not maintained very effectively – continues Andrea Gavosto – actually cause more damage than not having them: if the filters are not changed and continuous maintenance is not carried out, the aerosol propagates, potentially with the virus inside, to an even greater extent , so you have to be sure that the schools have the resources and also the will to carry out ongoing and effective maintenance”.

And he concludes: “The slogan about mechanical ventilation is effective, but the practical problems are, as always, not secondary”.

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