A LIMERICK school girl has written an open letter to the Taoiseach and Minister for Education following the decision to reopen schools this week.
Sadhbh Ryan is a 5th year student in Ardscoil Mhuire Corbally who is hoping to become a vet and attend college in Poland.
The 17 year old said in her honest letter that she needs to do well in her Leaving Cert in order to attend college however classroom conditions are affecting her schoolwork.
Sadhbh said her school is fantastic and do everything they can for students however they are dealing with 'freezing' classrooms.
The letter read: "My school is fantastic and do everything and anything for us to reach our potential. I love seeing my friends and learning new things.
"I have loved walking in the doors of ASM as they welcome everyone with open arms and make you feel comfortable which is a hard thing to do for adolescent girls.
"However, for the past year and a half, I have dreaded going into school with the unbearable temperatures of the classrooms I am forced to sit in for at most nine hours a day (I do after school study as well)."
Sadhbh went on to say that the INTO have stated the minimum temperatures for classrooms should be 18 degrees for it to be considered working conditions.
She continued: "The classrooms in my school and every other school in Ireland do not reach this, instead they fall far behind reaching at most 14 degrees celsius (we recorded this temperature for a double chemistry class I had) and even falls below at times.
"It is freezing and I know in order to fix this is to layer up. I can see my school is trying their best by turning on the heating but that does nothing as heat rises and as it rises it goes out the window as they have to be kept open.
"It's hard for my school and many others listening to 600 students complaining that they are too cold. Some students don't attend school for this very reason.
"I can't feel my fingers as they are numb. I can't concentrate properly and I can't wait for 5:50 for the bell to ring so I can go home and warm up."
The teen asked in her letter for HEPA filters to be installed in every classroom in Ireland so pupils can enjoy school and reach their full potential.
Sadhbh's mother Tracie said that the school principal has since been in touch to say that HEPA filters are being installed in every classroom next week.
The principal spent Christmas sourcing the correct filters which Tracie says should have been supplied by the Department of Education.
Sadhbh finished off her honest correspondence by asking the Taoiseach and the Minister for help.
She said: "It's hard listening to the Taoiseach and members of the Teachta Dala claiming repeatedly that classrooms are a safe environment when they haven't been in a freezing cold classroom themselves for nine hours a day.
"It is unbearable and at this point I am begging you to please help. Of course our classrooms are well ventilated but what good is that when half of my classmates are out sick with the common cold or the flu.
"Claiming school are a safe environment is one thing but not experiencing the cold is another thing.
"We have missed so much these past two years because of covid, don't let our future be another thing we lose".
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