By- Anu Sukhija
I need to confess this that after having hated my school for half of my life along with things that come as part of the deal, namely early morning alarm, uniform, homework, exams and punishment; I am now convinced that those were In fact the best days of my life. School plays an important role in shaping a child’s future. It is indeed a second home for children for they spend almost eight hours at school every day. When we send our kids to school, we not only expect trained and qualified staff in classrooms but we also expect safe, secure and conducive environment for learning.
Would you send your child to a school where the building looks dilapidated and classrooms overcrowded with roof leaking during rainy season and fans running slow but blades making loud sound constantly? Does the classroom learning take a beating when the physical structure and support facilities are mediocre?
Impact of School Infrastructure on learning and development All academicians agree in unison that school plays a crucial role in a child’s physical, mental and intellectual well being. Researchers and psychologists have conducted studies to find out if there is any direct or indirect relation between students’ performance and environmental factors. And here are some of the takeaways.
Physical conditions have positive and negative impact on happiness, morale and sense of personal belonging
Schools with good infrastructure not only increase academic performance of students, but also motivate attendance and discipline
Unreasonable workload for teaching staff creates a stressful environment that has an adverse impact on learning
Noise and temperature levels are termed as detrimental factors in learning
(***source: Dr of Philosophy-McGowan report, Educational Administration, A&M
What is Good School Infrastructure?
To create and maintain conducive learning environment, a good school should provide the following facilities.
School Building: The school building should be well planned, spacious and visually appealing, it is going to house kids after all! Wouldn’t it be fantastic if our children fall in love with the place? The building should have natural light, resilient floors and large windows . It should have
visible green outdoor spaces , Eco – friendly architectural designed open spaces instead of boring hallways and easy access to entry & exit doors. It should also have provision for transportation and Parking space. A security cabin at the main gate is a must.
Classrooms: Classrooms are the cornerstone of child development. A child should feel welcomed, loved and protected within the four walls of Classroom. Not only should they be enough in numbers, they should be spacious to allow necessary physical movement with ergonomically designed furniture which supports continuous study and project work without causing physical & mental stress.
The Reception and Administration Area: The reception should be centrally located and well designed to serve as single contact point. It should have an appealing lobby for visitors with good supply of magazines/books for guests. Principal’s office should be elegantly designed like a board room and should have advanced office facilities, supplies and peripheries. Staff Room: Staff room is the place where the teaching staff meets and interacts with each other, do corrections of home/school work of students and refer to books etc. This room should have enough space to accommodate a number of teachers at a given time, should have lockers for them and should have furniture meant to get them some break from their busy day.
Playground: A playground in school is a child’s workshop. It’s where they draw their energy from. It should be spacious and well set. It should have provision for both indoor and outdoor stadiums. It should also have clear sign boards, boundaries and sports gear and accessories for safety.
Library: Library plays a significant role in the learning process of a developing mind. The library room should be located in such a place where there is no distraction which may disturb the concentration and interest of readers.
Laboratories: A good school infrastructure needs biology, physics, chemistry, a computer laboratory. The physics lab should be equipped by optical, electrical, thermo dynamical, mechanical instruments. The chemistry lab is equipped with different types of solutions, salts and components. Biology lab has to be equipped by slides, microscopes, skeletons and different specimens. Computer lab is equipped with a series of computers and systems.
Other Important Facilities: A good school can boast of number of other facilities as means of quality infrastructure to boost physical as well mental development of its pupils. A good infirmary with trained caretakers and in-house doctor, Cafeteria/Canteen for food and beverages
to help those who may have forgotten their lunch box at home, Recreational Rooms like Art and Craft Room, Music Room, Dramatic Room, Dance Room, Sports Room, SUPW Room etc, Theatre for educational movies to be screened, a rock garden, a duck pond, a mini bird sanctuary- the list is endless.
It is indeed heartwarming to note that schools administrations have started giving a serious thought about giving conventional school settings which used to look drab and rigid a lively facelift. Undoubtedly, school’s structural facilities profoundly influence learning. If we want our children to succeed, we must also provide them with the right environment and infrastructure to do so.
Let us build so that they l can learn better…