The founders of these schools are for the most part municipalities, and as the mayor of Velké Osek and vice-chairman of the Union of Towns and Municipalities Pavel Drahovzal admitted, the municipalities are currently living in great uncertainty. “We don’t know at all how the energy supply will take place. Today, many municipalities also competed for energy suppliers, sometimes they did not receive any offer,” added Drahovzal. This would be a problem, as some of them are at risk of falling under the supplier of last resort.
School canteens are getting more expensive. Families pay a few thousand more per year
This could be reflected in higher energy prices. “In addition, it is not clear whether they would manage to secure a supplier within six months,” explained the vice-chairman of the Union of Cities and Municipalities. Municipalities could only purchase energy from the supplier of last resort for six months.
At the same time, the increase in prices is noticeable, which was confirmed, for example, by the director of the Horní Jelení Primary School, Pavla Nádeníková. “The increase for this year amounts to 500 thousand crowns. The energy supplier for our school is arranged by the founder, i.e. the city of Horní Jelení, which we asked for a budget increase,” she explained. The city accommodated her, but had to tap into financial reserves.
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At the same time, schools will have to save money. “For example, we will reduce the number of kettles. School employees will only leave the computers when they are turned off. We will lower the temperature in the toilets and corridors,” explained Miloš Fikar, director of the Wolkerova Elementary School in Havlíčková Brod.
From 20 degrees to 19
At the same time, the recently introduced decree of the Ministry of Industry and Trade provides for lowering the temperatures in classrooms or toilets in the event of an emergency. For example, with the fact that the current minimum temperature in classrooms would be reduced from 20 to 19 degrees Celsius. It would have to be at least 15 degrees in the corridors or toilets. “These are additional measures that I call airbags. You have them in your car. You hope you never have to use them, but when you need them, you’re very glad you bought them,” explained Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela (for STAN).
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But the head of the Zajíc school association hopes that this will not have to happen. However, he assumes that schools will have to implement cost-saving measures. “Some are short-term, such as ventilation. Other long-term, which include, for example, changing heating systems or insulating buildings. However, they will need investments for that,” added Zajíc.
The number of elementary school students has been increasing in recent years, and last year the number of children attending them was the highest in the last 17 years. “In September 2021, there were almost 965,000 people enrolled in primary schools, which is 21.4 percent more than ten years ago,” explained the chairman of the Czech Statistical Office, Marek Rojíček.