page 1 page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
< prev - next > Construction Building design KnO 100064_School buildings in developing countries (Printable PDF)
The building of schools is a significant area of construction activity in many developing
countries. School building can be organised as government or donor-supported programmes,
or by NGOs and communities, and sometimes by parents themselves. In the former case the
programme might comprise hundreds or even thousands of schools, while in the latter case
there could be just one school to build, or usually a small number. Local authorities are
sometimes also involved in the building of schools, usually in urban areas.
Schools can be considered as primary - catering for pupils up to the age of 10, 11 or 12, or
secondary - for pupils within an age range of 10 to 19. Additionally there can be vocational
training centres - generally for youths above about 14 years of age and sometimes also for
adults, and in some cases schools can also function as community and meeting places, or be
used for some form of adult learning, for example in literacy. Some rural schools, to which
pupils have to travel considerable distances, can also have dormitories.
As well as the scale of a school construction project and the age range or function to which a
school would be put being some significant factors to consider in the design and building of
particular school buildings, there are also numerous other important factors including
climatic conditions, disaster risk, cultural issues, available building materials and skills,
terrain, ICTs and facilities for displays and demonstrations, and health and safety. Because
the nature of some of these factors would vary from place to place it is not possible to define
an ideal or optimum school building suitable for everywhere. Instead it is proposed in this
brief to consider some issues, principles and case studies or examples to act as a guide for
the development of a model for a particular location.
A school building can have a significant positive or negative effect towards fostering a
productive learning environment. Classrooms that are dark, uncomfortable, crowded, noisy,
or where the teacher is a long way away or at times hidden from the pupils can be a
disincentive for pupils to learn or even to wish to continue with their studies. Design of
schools from the viewpoint of the user is important to ensure that all or most of their needs
are met.
Some Important Issues or Principles
Space - Schools differ from most domestic buildings in that classrooms need to accommodate
comfortably as many as 30, and sometimes 40, pupils together with space for a teacher and
possibly for storage, displays and equipment. One recommendation is to allow 1.3 m2 of
space per pupil and an additional two metres between the first row of pupilsdesks and one
of the walls for the teacher's desk, board and space to move. With 30 pupils such a
classroom could have dimensions of 7 x 7 metres (or another combination of length and width
giving the same overall area), amounting to nearly 50 m2 in area. It is in any case not
recommended to have a classroom with an area of less than 40 m2, unless it is known that
there will never be more than 20 pupils in the room.
Practical Action, The Schumacher Centre, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ, UK
T +44 (0)1926 634400 | F +44 (0)1926 634401 | E | W
Practical Action is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee.
Company Reg. No. 871954, England | Reg. Charity No.247257 | VAT No. 880 9924 76 |
Patron HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB