All schools in Serbia received a notice from the Ministry of Mining and Energy to devise a plan on how to reduce the energy they consume by 15 per cent.
The Belgrade High School Forum has proposed to the Ministry of Education to extend and move the winter holidays from the second half of January to the second half of February and advises to shorten classes by 5 or 15 minutes on the coldest days.
The Ministry’s letter states that schools should designate persons who will be responsible for reducing energy consumption, that a plan for reducing energy consumption by at least 15 per cent on a monthly basis should be devised, and that all employees should be informed about saving measures and recommendations.
All educational institutions are given a deadline to submit a monthly savings plan to the Ministry of Energy by 15 September. The recommendation for the future is to submit a report to the Ministry once a month, by the 15th of the month, on the implementation of the energy saving plan, the reasons for the deviation from the targets set out in the plan and problems in the implementation of the measures.
The Forum also calls on the Ministry of Education to urgently consider a number of possibilities that could help reduce energy consumption. They propose revising the school calendar by extending the winter break and moving it from the second half of January to mid-February with fewer spring break days.
They believe that shortening classes from 45 to 40 minutes would also contribute to energy savings, which would reduce the time children spend in schools by a total of one hour and ten minutes, as well as shortening classes from 45 to 30 minutes during the coldest time of the year.
“The Belgrade High School Forum understands and supports the proposal for energy saving measures, but we believe that in addition to individual solutions at the school level, systemic solutions are also needed by those managing the education sector,” the statement reads.
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