Background/aim Research on school indoor environmental quality (IEQ) are rare in developing countries due to the extremely low funding for research and student education. This study sought to evaluate IEQ in classrooms and the general condition of school buildings.
Methods Five primary schools, including three classrooms per school, were assessed between December 2016 and January 2017. Classroom temperature (T), relative humidity (RH), carbon dioxide (CO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) were measured with data loggers (outdoor measurements were also taken). Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration was measured on students’ desk tops after school hours to assess cleaning effectiveness. General condition of the buildings were assessed based on walk-throughs.
Results All schools used natural ventilation by opening windows and doors. Classroom occupancy exceeded 50 person/100 m2 in all cases indicating overcrowding. Concentrations of CO2 remained below 1000 ppm in most classrooms: only three classrooms exceed this limit with two classrooms from the same school. Maximum indoor CO was 6ppm. Indoor T raised during the day mimicking outdoor T. ATP concentrations on desk tops were high in all schools. General building condition was low (e.g. only one school had functioning toilets).
Conclusion The use of open incinerators, which was the main source of CO, should be discouraged. Students should have access to functioning bathroom facilities and cafeteria. Improving hygiene, for example by cleaning desks and other high contact surfaces, should also be encouraged. Installing passive and/or mechanical cooling systems should be considered to improve thermal comfort.
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