Austria tackles stuffy school classrooms

An Austrian pilot programme to improve educational performance by using technology to encourage the airing of stuffy classrooms is proving to be popular with schools, organisers said on Friday.

The "Luft zum Lernen" ("Air to Learn") initiative in the southern province of Carinthia has so far attracted interest from 32 schools with a total of 160 classes in the area, state schools chief Walter Ebner told reporters.

The schools are given special devices that measure temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide levels in a classroom and alert the teacher when it is time to open a window.

"The brain needs lots of oxygen to concentrate and to learn, so it makes sense to ensure that there is enough fresh air in both offices and schools," according to the Meine Raumluf group behind the initiative.

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