Nearly 5,000 people have signed a petition calling on the government to instal air-conditioners in classrooms, as children return from summer school exhausted from the heat and soaked in sweat.

Parent, relatives and teachers who signed the online petition have described the situation in classrooms as “a horror”, likening the conditions to “a sauna”. 

“Heat is unbearable in classes especially during the summer season,” says the petition.

“Things have changed a lot since parents are both employed, thus sending children to SkolaSajf.

“The government can resolve the problem by installing solar panels on school rooftops thus generating its own energy.”

The petition, which was set up by a mother several months ago, has been gaining traction in the past few days as temperatures soar to heatwave levels. It is now close to reaching its 5,000-signature target.

Among the hundreds of comments posted, a teacher who works at the government-run summer programme SkolaSajf wrote: “As soon as they arrive in class many children immediately comment about the heat.

By 10am, the children are all covered in sweat to the extent that it starts dripping off their face

“By 10am, most of the children are all covered in sweat to the extent that it starts dripping off their face.”

Another teacher said: “I understand the children. They sometimes cry about the heat and I wouldn’t know what to do since there’s nothing I can do.”

Some petitioners added that the situation was not limited to government schools but applied to any school that did not provide air conditioning in summer.

Many commented about the fact that children struggled to concentrate in the heat – including during exam period.

“When June starts, it’s becoming very hot in the classrooms… Everybody starts sweating. My concern is that during exam week, it won’t help children to concentrate enough.

“Another suggestion is to start annual exams at the beginning of June after benchmarks, to avoid heatwaves,” one woman wrote.

Parents and relatives also shared their concerns.

“My nephews are getting home after a morning at summer school completely soaked in sweat and this is so unfair. This is an urgent issue which should be tackled asap,” one woman wrote.

A grandmother sharing her views added: “My grandchildren need an aircon at school considering they only have a ceiling fan which barely makes a difference in the classroom – they come home sweating from the heat in the classroom.”

Questions were sent to the government but no replies were received by the time of writing.