THE CANARY ISLANDS’ regional government announced on Tuesday that it would be cancelling classes for school students of all ages for the rest of the week due to the unusually high temperatures forecast to affect the archipelago. 

Schools have been reporting cases of students fainting this week as well as suffering heatstroke as the islands suffer the 10th heatwave in the month of October since records began in 1975. 

The archipelago, which usually enjoys a range of temperatures all year round from 18 to 24ºC, was on a yellow warning this Tuesday for highs of 35ºC across the islands. 

The education chief, Poli Suarez, described the heat as usually ‘inexistent in the Canaries’, and announced that the authorities were working on a protocol to set out how schools should react to such climatic conditions. 

In practice, the measure will only see schools suspend classes on Wednesday and Friday, given that Thursday is a national holiday across the whole of Spain. 

Universities, meanwhile, will have to decide whether or not to close as well, Spanish daily El Pais reported. 

Suarez added that the decision-making had also been influenced by a warning from state weather agency Aemet that there is a very high risk of forest fires in the coming days due to the abnormally high temperatures.

In comments reported by news agency Europa Press, Suarez said that it would be ‘complicated’ for classes to be given over the coming days via video conferencing, as they were during the coronavirus lockdown. 

That, he added, was why it is important to establish a protocol for such situations.

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