Classroom characteristics

Most of the investigated classrooms were situated on the first or second floor of the school building. Only two classrooms in one country were situated below ground level, and a total of eight classrooms in two countries were located on the fourth floor. Almost one-third of investigated classrooms were oriented towards the street. For additional information about the distribution of classrooms by floor level and orientation in each country, click on the link below.


Additional information

The distribution of classrooms by floor level in each country is presented in Table A1. Most of the classrooms were situated on the first or second floor. Only two classrooms (in one country) were situated below ground level, and eight classrooms (2 percent) were on the fourth floor (in two countries).

Table A1 Distribution of the classrooms by floor level in each country

Country

-1

0

1

2

3

4

Total

Albania

0

0

11 (33.3%)

18 (54.6%)

4 (12.1%)

0

33

Belarus

0

0

3 (7.9%)

14 (36.8%)

21 (55.3%)

0

38

Bosnia and Herzegovina

0

12 (31.6%)

8 (21.0%)

13 (34.2%)

5 (13.2%)

0

38

Hungary

0

19 (44.2%)

15 (34.9%)

8 (18.6%)

1 (2.3%)

0

43

Italy

2 (4.8%)

12 (28.6%)

22 (52.4%)

5 (11.9%)

1 (2.4%)

0

42

Kazakhstan

0

0

13 (32.5%)

16 (40.0%)

11 (27.5%)

0

40

Serbia

0

10 (22.7%)

12 (27.3%)

20 (45.4%)

2 (4.6%)

0

44

Slovakia

0

2 (6.5%)

14 (45.2%)

9 (29.0%)

4 (12.9%)

2 (6.5%)

31

Tajikistan

0

13 (38.2%)

15 (44.1%)

6 (17.7%)

0

0

34

Ukraine

0

0

9 (22.5%)

14 (35.0%)

11 (27.5%)

6 (15.0%)

40

Total

2 (0.5%)

68 (17.7%)

122 (31.9%)

123 (32.1%)

60 (15.7%)

8 (2.1%)

383

The distribution of classrooms according to orientation is shown in Table A2. Almost one-third of the classrooms were facing the street.

Table A2 Distribution of classrooms according to orientation in each country

Country

Yard

Street

Total

Albania

24 (70.59%)

10 (29.41%)

34

Belarus

31 (81.58%)

7 (18.42%)

38

Bosnia and Herzegovina

31 (77.50%)

9 (22.50%)

40

Hungary

18 (41.86%)

25 (58.14%)

43

Italy

37 (84.09%)

7 (15.91%)

44

Kazakhstan

33 (82.50%)

7 (17.50%)

40

Serbia

31 (72.09%)

12 (27.91%)

43

Slovakia

19 (59.38%)

13 (40.63%)

32

Tajikistan

17 (50.00%)

17 (50.00%)

34

Ukraine

25 (62.50%)

15 (37.50%)

40

Total

266 (68.56%)

122 (31.44%)

388




There were big differences among the countries with respect to the number of children per classroom. The average floor space in this study was 2.02 m2/child. All the classrooms in Albania and 60 percent of the classrooms in Bosnia and Herzegovina had less than 2 m2 of floor space per child.


Additional information

Table A3 Distribution of classrooms with floor space of less than 2 m2/child by country

Country

>2 m2/n

<2 m2/n

Total

Albania

0 (0.00%)

34 (100.00%)

34

Belarus

35 (94.59%)

2 (5.41%)

37

Bosnia and Herzegovina

16 (40.00%)

24 (60.00%)

40

Hungary

22 (52.38%)

20 (47.62%)

42

Italy

25 (65.79%)

13 (34.21%)

38

Kazakhstan

22 (55.00%)

18 (45.00%)

40

Serbia

30 (78.95%)

8 (21.05%)

38

Slovakia

29 (93.55%)

2 (6.45%)

31

Tajikistan

19 (55.88%)

15 (44.12%)

34

Ukraine

24 (60.00%)

16 (40.00%)

40

Total

222 (59.36%)

152 (40.64%)

374




The type of floor covering used varied between and within countries. The most commonly found was plastic flooring, which was used in over 40 percent of the monitored classrooms and which can be associated with health risks among children. The second most frequently used type of floor covering was wood, which was found in 31 percent of the investigated classrooms. Concrete flooring, or concrete covered by carpet, were less frequently used in classrooms (15 percent).

Various types of wall covering were used in classrooms: the most frequently used type was water-soluble paint (58 percent), while water-resistant paint was used in a quarter of the classrooms. Wallpaper and whitewash were far less frequently used (18.6 and 16 percent respectively). Wood panelling was used in only 6.5 percent of the classrooms. From a health perspective, water-resistant paints can contribute to a higher risk of respiratory disease.

The size of the openable windows in the classrooms is an important factor in terms of natural ventilation. In the monitored classrooms, the size of the openable windows also varied considerably. A quarter of the investigated classrooms (an average of 25.7 percent) had openable windows smaller than 2 m2, which can be regarded as the minimum size of window that allows appropriate natural ventilation.

Cleaning practices can be seen as another important potential risk factor in terms of children’s health. After cleaning, appropriate ventilation is essential in order to reduce possible emissions from the cleaning materials used.

Most of the classrooms (an average of 87.7 percent) were cleaned in the evening, and many of them (an average of 39.1 percent) were also cleaned at noon. The most frequently used means of cleaning was a mop (an average of 72.6 percent). Vacuum cleaners were used in an average of only 7.7 percent of the classrooms.


Additional information

Table A4 Distribution of classrooms according to means of cleaning (more than one possible answer per classroom) (%)

Country

Vacuum cleaner

Broom

Mop

Albania

0.0

97.1

88.2

Belarus

7.9

47.4

92.1

Bosnia and Herzegovina

25.0

62.5

77.5

Hungary

11.6

83.7

81.4

Italy

0.0

81.8

77.3

Kazakhstan

0.0

0.0

72.9

Serbia

11.4

52.3

18.2

Slovakia

28.1

81.3

96.9

Tajikistan

0.0

7.0

59.7

Ukraine

2.0

80.0

78.0

Total

7.7

56.1

72.6




 
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