15.08.2022, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Grevesmühlen: Mit einem gemeinsamen Frühstück beginnt für die Schüler der Klasse 1c der erste Schultag in ihrem Klassenzimmer in der Ernst-Reuter-Grundschule. In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern geht für rund 160.200 Schülerinnen und Schüler die Schule wieder los. Erstmals seit Langem startet die Schule - trotz der fortwährenden Corona-Pandemie - ohne zusätzliche Schutzmaßnahmen wie Masken- oder Testpflicht. Foto: Jens Büttner/dpa - ACHTUNG: Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung im Zusammenhang mit der aktuellen Berichterstattung und nur mit vollständiger Nennung des vorstehenden Credits +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Due to the climate crisis and the war against Ukraine, the topic of “saving energy” has come to the fore. In the everyday life of adults, it has long played a major role. Karina Jehniche, chairwoman of the interest group for Berlin school administrations (IBS), is now calling for students to be actively involved in the discussions.

“Saving energy is becoming a big issue. We have to tackle this with everyone involved in a school, i.e. with the adults and the children,” Jehniche told the Tagesspiegel. “We have to make everyone aware of the need to use energy responsibly, and not just when it comes to your own wallet. We have to work out strategies together with the children to save energy and to consistently pursue this together.”

Jehniche, who is the director of the Christian Morgenstern elementary school in Spandau, also explained, “that we have to ask critical questions about where in the building we are even wasting energy. Everyone has a social responsibility not only to save money, but also to fight climate change.”

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She also has concrete suggestions for saving energy: don’t use warm water to wash your hands, turn off the heaters in the hallways, turn down the heaters at night and on the weekends – whenever possible – clever ventilation, turn off the lights when you leave of the rooms, closing doors, checking which small electrical devices are used in the building and whether they are still necessary.

Structural requirements are also important, however: consistent use of LEDs, solar systems where possible, and heat and cold insulation of the building. Like Education Senator Astrid-Sabine Busse (SPD), Karina Jehniche is also against reducing the room temperature for primary schools to 18 degrees.

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“Lowering the room temperature in elementary schools is problematic,” she said. “Kids in thick clothes in the classroom certainly do not promote the learning atmosphere. Many schools already have problems getting comfortable temperatures during the heating period due to structural defects or lack of insulation.”

When the corona numbers went up again in autumn and winter, ventilation also played a major role again. “The rooms should not cool down and still have enough fresh air. Up to now we have also opened the windows during the yard breaks. We have to see now whether we will continue to do so. We will have to discuss all of this again thoroughly in the college,” said Jehniche.