Can School Infrastructure Make Any Difference to Students?
“School is the second home” and rightly so.Home away from home, school is the place where children spend their maximum time away from home. When we send our children to school, we not only expect a firm hand of a responsible adult to guide them, but also of a conducive, secure environment. And school infrastructure certainly plays a hand in creating that kind of an environment.
Imagine sending your child to a school where the building looks rundown and is left unrestored. Would you feel secure sending your child there, or rather would the child feel secure going there? Well! The answer is certainly no! So, does the school infrastructure matter? Does it have any impact on the performance or behavior of students? Let’s take a look.
Impact of School Environment & Infrastructure
It’s essential for any school to create an environment that not only encourages learning, but also focuses on the mental and physical well-being of the student. Researchers and psychologistshave constantly conducted studies to find out if there is any relevance on students’ performance and environmental factors. And here are some of the takeaways.
- Students in schools with poor building conditions had lower achievement scores when compared to school with better buildings
- Schools with good literate blocks and infrastructure not only increased academic performance of students, but also motivated attendance
- Overcrowded and heavy teacher workloads created a stressful environment that had an adverse impact on learning
- Noise and temperature levels were termed as detrimental factors in learning
- Physical conditions have positive and negative impacts on morale, sense of personal safety and also affects the feeling of belonging
With the school infrastructure and environment having this kind of effect on students, the question remains what the schools can do to better the environment make school a place to look forward for the students?
First and foremost is the physical infrastructure:
- School Building: A well-planned, spacious and functional building can work wonders. Classrooms should be spacious, well-ventilated allowing natural lighting and breeze. A school should be built keeping various facilities like well-equipped labs, halls, open fields, games equipment, dormitories and sanitation facilities in mind. Libraries, provisions for different labs like physics, chemistry, computer science and biology are a must. Art and craft workshops, playgrounds, assembly area, multimedia rooms boost the overall development of the child. In addition to all this, another very important factor is architectural design of the school. Buildings and classrooms should be designed in such a way that students can move in and out of the classroom freely. There should be provisions for transportation and parking of personal vehicles like scooters and bicycles.
- Classrooms: They are the backbone of any school infrastructure. There should not only be adequate number of classrooms for students, but each and every classroom should be pleasant and well-designed. They should be carefully decorated and painted with some light colors.
Each and every classroom should be well-lit in all corners and ventilated enough to be comfortable even during power failures. Seats and tables should be ergonomically designed and provide comfort to the students. There should be enough desk storage space, in addition to built-in cupboards for keeping school material, apparatus etc.
- Playground: Sports and games play a vital role in the development of any child. So, invariably a school infrastructure should have provision for a well-maintained playground. There should be facilities for both indoor and outdoor stadiums. Playground are not just a medium to develop physical strength and balance, they are an opportunity to develop social skills, thinking and problem solving skills.
- Staff Room & Administrative Block: Not just students, the school infrastructure should also focus on facilities for teachers. There should be a proper staffroom, where teachers can prepare for their classes, do corrections and interact with each other. This room should also have lockers where they can safeguard theirinstructional materials, books and personalbelongings. Apart from the staff room, the school infrastructure should create special provisions for the administrative block. Not only should the school office be centrally located, but also should be easily accessible to visitors, students or teachers.
On the whole, the school infrastructure if planned properly will be one of the key factors in effective teaching and learning. It will also play as a stimulator for increased student attendance and staff motivation.