CHILDREN are sweltering in the state and federal governments' 'eco-friendly' classrooms, which were designed without airconditioning.
Children and teachers last week bore the brunt of Melbourne's most prolonged hot spell and struggled to concentrate in classrooms.
Grades 5 and 6 students at Bimbadeen Heights Primary School in Mooroolbark were being urged to use cold face washers and spray bottles during class to cool down when temperatures soar.
But mum Kerry Mitchell said this was not good enough. "My daughter is coming home and saying, 'I'm hot, mum, can you please do something about it?"' Ms Mitchell said.
"I have to pay my fees and am entitled to know that my kid will be kept cool during the day."
She has started a petition to get airconditioning installed in the grade 5 and 6 rooms and has already gathered about 150 parents' signatures.
"There are many irate parents out there who've told me they're on the verge of moving their kids to another school where airconditioning is available from preps to 6."
Assistant principal Joanne Lang said the buildings were built two years ago under the federal government's Building the Education Revolution scheme.
She said six of the seven grade 5 and 6 classes did not have airconditioning and relied on louvre windows, which open and close depending on heat, to keep the pupils cool.
"When the buildings were designed, they [the government] told us we don't need airconditioning," Mrs Lang said.
"We're certainly not against airconditioning and would love to have it. Unfortunately, we don't have the money."
An Education Department spokesman said decisions on airconditioning in BER buildings depended on where the school was located.
"Schools in the hottest parts of Victoria, mostly north of the Great Dividing Range, have airconditioning," he said.
"Schools outside this area are encouraged to look at environmentally friendly cooling options, including fans and building design.
"The department is in the process of rectifying faults at a handful of schools, which are seeking assistance with the night purge ventilation system in their BER buildings."
The department spokesman said a representative would meet with Bimbadeen Heights parents this week to find a solution to the problem.