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Impact of Poor School Infrastructure on Learning Outcomes

Education is a primary requisite to develop holistically as a person and in society. According to Article 21A of the Constitution of India, “free and compulsory education for all children between six and fourteen years of age is a Fundamental Right.” There is not much opportunity for marginalized students to achieve their educational goals except through public schools in rural areas.

In order to provide a safe learning environment for children, the school buildings are required to be all-weather buildings according to the RTE Act, 2009. The requisites for quality education and infrastructure should include the following.
● Every teacher should have a classroom,
● barrier-free access to the restrooms, separate male and female bathrooms, and
● drinking water that is safe and adequate for all children.

Though the government focuses on building infrastructure in schools, most rural Indian schools lack adequate resources or facilities to ensure a safe learning environment for students. There is often no drinking water supply in these schools, sanitary facilities are sometimes not functional, and there is no access to water, even if they are functioning. Campus facilities are also poorly maintained. Therefore, neither children are motivated to attend nor parents are motivated to send their children to school. Even when children attend school, the infrastructure of government schools puts forth an uninteresting environment, the possibility of learning interruptions. Schoolchildren, especially girls, are forced to leave school premises without water and toilet facilities during the school day, and they often do not return. The quality of education programs becomes a second priority.

Teachers are demotivated by a lack of consistency and discipline at school. In turn, parents’ suspicions are heightened due to the school’s unreliability. These government schools have very few students compared to the total number of students in the village, and there are no essential facilities and an unfavorable environment for quality education. No importance is laid on the quality of education.

The RTE Act stipulates that a School Management Committee (SMC) is to be formed, consisting of parents of students and members of the school administration. Still, this committee is limited to a formal agreement, with members not knowing their responsibilities and lacking the skills to function effectively.

Student life is profoundly impacted by the study place they choose, and it is even more significant to provide an environment that promotes mental development and academic orientation. As quality infrastructure and facilities positively impact students’ academic and social performance, their enrollment, retention, and learning outcomes are influenced by school infrastructure.

To support school transformation further from present scenario to desirable state, these product lines are further divided into 6 levels. These 6 levels support in assessing the current scenario and also selection of desired level of school transformation. These levels further support prioritisation of budget as well. These levels are established from UNICEF.

Level 1- Unfit for being occupied by the students

Level 2- Fit for basic accommodation

Level 3- Fit for basic Educational Activity

Level 4- Fit for Effective Education

Level 5- Above Standard Educational Infrastructure

Level 6- Excellent Educational Infrastructure

Ennoble is committed to transforming schools at least for Level 4 in the “should” category of the School Transformation Project. These transformed schools provide students with an enabling environment and products that can facilitate engaging experiential education for their holistic development. Level 5 and 6 falls into the “could” category.

It is important that teachers are enabled by making available quality education programs and infrastructure. Ennoble makes available facilities such as “must-have” STEM labs and playgrounds to facilitate cognitive, physical, and cultural development. A wholesome school transformation should be the goal of school infrastructure development and in years ahead we must aim at bringing every child back to a safe and child-friendly school.

Neha Thakur

Neha Thakur

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A game-changer in addressing the needs of rural schools, Ennoble Social Innovations focuses on transforming the government school landscape of India through scalable and sustainable innovations.

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