Al Wattan school sweats it out without air-conditioners

UMM AL QUWAIN — The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) has advised the Al Wattan Elementary School in Umm Al Quwain to refrain from using the air-conditioners in all classes to reduce the load on a transformer which exploded and got burnt a few days ago leaving two students injured.

By Mohsen Rashid

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Published: Fri 28 Oct 2005, 12:03 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:02 PM

Following a report of the transformer explosion at Al Wattan School due to overloading, the MPW representatives visited the school and insisted that air-conditioners there should not be used for safety reasons. The engineers even disconnected 75 per cent of the air-conditioners to ensure that they would not be used until further notice.

The school administration did not get any firm reply from the ministry representatives about how long the air-conditioners would remain shut. But Abdullah Al Gursi, Head of the Northern Zone in the MPW, answered the query in another way saying that the contract for the electrical system valid for two years is over and more time is needed to float another tender.

On the school suffering without air-conditioners, Al Gursi assured that the matter will not take more than two months to resolve.

Official sources in the zone said that the issue will take a long time to resolve and the MPW will not start fixing the electric problem before next June, when the schools maintenance starts.

Both the school and the zone administrations expressed their regret over the incident. They pointed out that even if in the coming days, air-conditioners do not really require to be used in schools, they are required for other reasons. According to Al Gursi, the school administration has said that there are computer laboratories, equipment and other things that use electricity day and night, not only air-conditioners.

The school functions as a night centre in the evening. It has regular classes during the morning hours. The UAQ Civil Defence has warned that the explosion could happen again if the concerned authorities do not replace the transformer with another one that will bear the big electricity load of the school.

The school could ill afford to wait for submission of tenders and through useless procedures, the civil defence said.

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