The quality of schools contributes greatly to student achievements. Schools that are in great physical condition and which have clear spatial structures, good infrastructure, well-researched design, act as catalyst for growth, change, and good quality of life for a student. As a mother of a , school going son, I always felt the need for schools to have some of the basic infra-structural facilities to be in place to create a great atmosphere where learning and creativity thrives.
Infrastructure of the school addresses the following needs:
- Human needs
- Academic needs.
Let us talk about the list of human needs:-
Location Site: The school should be in a silent place having healthy and hygienic environment. This means that the school should be away from crowded areas and highways however must be connected well to the city.
Building: According to Winston Churchill, “We shape our building in the beginning and then they shape us”. A good spacious, well lit and ventilated school building is forever inviting. The design should be such that the various departments should be inter-connected and the passage of students from one department to other should be smooth and quick. “ A fine building makes a fine school”.
Classrooms: A mighty effort should be gone into setting up the classroom because there the future doctors, scientists, innovators will be spending most of their time. The classroom should be well structured, properly ventilated and as far as possible naturally lit. Blackboards, Over head projectors and screens should be an integral part of the classroom. The windows should have proper grills and the placement of lights and fans (or ACs) should be perfect for classroom.
The furniture – chairs or benches should be comfortable and the storage cabinets for students should be in their reach.
Toilet/ Washroom facilities: Washrooms should be in proper places and should be easily accessible to the children; they should be maintained and cleaned regularly, preferably on hourly basis. They need to be kept dry and should have proper and uninterrupted supply of water.
Water Facilities: Water filters should be fitted in the schools and it should be ensured that these filters are timely cleaned and managed properly.
Library: According to Dr. R. K. Mittal “a well equipped and managed library is indeed the foundation stone of a modern educational structure. The library should have a conducive reading atmosphere with a variety of books on varied topics. The library should have cards for all books and catalogues need to be maintained. Do read our other blog that talks about the ideal school library.
Playground: The children today are wasting lot of time sitting at homes engaged in playing video games. A spacious ground with different areas to play the outdoor games like cricket, football, basket ball and volley ball is a must in all schools. The fence of the playground should be surrounded by tress and green lawns. Activities like march-past and other competitive games should also be held properly on the playground.
Let us move over to the infra-structural academic needs covering special rooms that must be integrated in the building plan of the school
Laboratory rooms: This relates to equipments in various laboratories, namely
The equipment in these laboratories should meet all the needs of the subjects concerned.
Computer Lab: A fully equipped computer lab with all the requisite updated softwares and hardwares must be present. It should have a sufficient number of personal computers and e-learning facility should be made available to the students.
Geography and History room: Certain equipments that are a must in these rooms
- Meteorological Instruments like thermometers, maximum and minimum temperature instrument, compasses, anemometer, barometer and rain gauge.
- Wall maps concerning physical features, climate, rainfall, crops, land routes, industries, minerals and population.
- Wall pictures describing life styles of different people, crops and important geographical places.
- Atlas and Globes
- Tracing Tables and Demonstration Tables.
History rooms must have maps and sketches and some pictures related to major historical events.
Art room, must have the following equipments
- Drawing desks
- Drawing boards, T square and Set square
- Tool racks with essential instruments
- Working tables with drawers
- Almirahs to keep instruments and items
Music room must have the following materials
- Wall racks to keep the instruments
- Small library with books concerning music
School workshops room should have instruments related to carpentry, black smithy, working boards, electric equipments and tables with drawers.
Toilet rooms should have pegs for hanging clothes, wash basin and soap cases and a mirror.
Library Equipment includes
- Almirahs, open shelves, tables and chairs
- Subject-wise books related to curriculum
- Reading room with magazines, periodicals, newspapers
- General books – autobiographies, storybooks, books of travel and adventure
- Reference material like dictionaries, pamphlets, atlas, encyclopedia etc.
- The equipments include nets, rackets, shuttle cocks, volley ball, football, basket ball, cricket kit, hockey sticks and balls.
- Other materials needed for tennis, table tennis, kho-kho etc should be available in the school
Audio-Visual room must have an over-head projector, screens, Laptops, Speakers, Hand and collar mikes, Podium, White board, marker pens, tables and chairs.
Other important rooms include the Assembly Hall, Office room and the reception table, the visitors’ area needs to be well maintained and proper seating arrangement should be done.
The school should have a well organized principal’s office, transport department, accounts department, uniform and stationery department.
The school should have a canteen and the hygienic and quality measures should be taken care off in a well organised manner.
I think these guidelines would give you all an idea about the basic infra-structural needs of a school. Do share in your comments and suggestions on this post. Any need that I may have missed can be added to make it much more specific guide to the said topic.