An increasing amount of research has found that a school’s infrastructure, facilities and amenities have a great impact on the learning outcomes for its students. Not just pupils, teachers are also deeply affected by the availability or lack of a sound infrastructure that supports their efforts in shaping the citizens of the future.
Experts emphasize the importance of providing adequate school facilities, as it affects pupils in multiple ways, from interest in learning and behavior to their health and commitment to education.
Here are 17 research-backed reasons why your educational institution should strive to provide the best possible facilities and equipment to its students.
- As children spend a large part of their day in school, the premises tend to play a big role in the child’s growth, development and view of the world. Several studies have shown that poor infrastructure affects performance and growth, as it deprives children of an environment conducive to learning.
- Aside from the infrastructure, a school’s physical location is an important factor in the physical and emotional wellbeing of both students and teachers. Therefore, locations for educational institutions should be chosen taking into account the health, safety and needs of local students and teaching staff.
- Noise has a big impact on learning outcomes. A noisy environment, whether caused by external noise or internal mismanagement, affects student engagement in learning. Students in less noisy premises have been shown to achieve better at school.
- Disorderly school environment, such as broken equipment, unkempt classrooms, poorly maintained buildings and ill-equipped playing grounds, is a recognized cause of behavioral issues and indiscipline in children, leading to poor conduct both at school and home.
- Proper lighting, with plenty of natural light, is essential for young learners to make the most of their time in school. Poor lighting not only affects student morale and interest in learning, it also impacts teaching quality and can cause a sense of gloom and dissatisfaction in teachers. Classrooms should have large windows, and light-colored wall paints should be used to reflect light.
- Even if a building is considered safe, outdoor pollution and indoor pollution from paints, cleaning supplies, pesticides, insecticides and flooring materials affects the physical and cognitive health of children. In fact, poorly maintained HVAC systems have been found to be a key cause of sickness in students and teachers. Proper ventilation is essential to minimize the effect of environmental hazards on learners.
- Classrooms need to have an optimum temperature so that students can focus on learning. Classrooms that are too cold or too warm take attention away from learning. Timely maintenance and upgradation of basic facilities can help avoid such situations.
- George Tischler from A.T. Equipment Sales says that depending on the type of seating used in a classroom and the way it is arranged, children’s learning can be affected and changed for the better. Ergonomics deeply affect student performance and engagement, which is why it is important for schools to invest in high-quality, ergonomically designed, age-appropriate seating in classrooms, libraries, labs and cafeterias.
- Studies show that classroom size and number of students both have an impact on student behavior. Cramped and overcrowded rooms affect the students’ ability to focus and rob them of their personal space. A spacious, well-lit classroom with limited number of students is essential to a productive education process. School buildings should be designed or renovated to create a feeling of plentiful space that’s well-lit and well ventilated.
- Labs and sports areas that lack equipment or have run-down equipment are the primary cause of student disinterest in practical learning activities. Give them well-equipped labs, proper sports gear, well-stocked libraries and clean surroundings, and the same pupils can do wonders in the classroom and outside.
- Teachers are an indispensable part of the education process, and even the best teachers find it extremely difficult to a good job when they don’t have the required support in the form of sound infrastructure, proper equipment and quality teaching aids.
- One study found that educational and classroom furniture had a remarkable impact on the learning outcomes and testing outcomes of elementary school students, thus proving how everything in a school’s environment—from a bench to the color of furniture—affects young pupils at the psychological level.
- From safe drinking water, easy-to-reach hand-wash sinks and height-appropriate restrooms with regular cleaning, first-aid kits and medical center, schools should make health and hygiene a priority. Studies have shown that clean washrooms and well-placed taps to wash hands with soap reduce student and teacher absenteeism and control the spread of disease.
- Using environmentally friendly building materials, learning aids and equipment can help reduce the impact of environmental pollution in schools. Creating plentiful green areas within the premises can curb pollution to some extent.
- Instead of focusing on test scores alone, school authorities should focus on creating a safe, healthy and motivating learning atmosphere for pupils. Broken items should be replaced regularly, restrooms should be well-maintained, lockers should be provided to each student and hazardous supplies should be stored out of reach of children.
- According to education experts, student welfare begins on the drawing board. Classrooms, labs and libraries should be designed so that they get enough natural light; roofing and insulation should be inspected regularly; and mold and mildew should be treated with urgency.
- Aside from classrooms, labs and libraries, other areas in the premises should also be designed in a manner that supports positive behavior in students. Kitchens, halls, canteens, mess and dormitories—all should have proper facilities and equipment to aid learners and teachers.
An increasing number of educational institutions around the world are acknowledging the impact of school facilities on both teachers and students. While upgradation has financial costs, its benefits far outweigh the expenditure.
Once you do a cost-benefit analysis and consider this expense as an investment in your institution and in the future of your students, it will be easy to take decisions that support your core goal of providing meaningful education.