The main task of school is to provide education which involves a series of programmes and activities. The successful conduct of these programmes and activities depends mainly upon the availability of proper infrastructure in the school. The term ‘Physical Infrastructure’ stands for the physical facilities of the school. It is referred to buildings, grounds, furniture and apparatus along with equipments essential for imparting education.
A school should be set up in a suitable atmosphere. Its location has enormous significance. It must have plenty of space with shady trees around, far away from the noise of the crowded city and polluting atmosphere. There should be a calm and quit atmosphere which is conductive to teaching and learning. It should have space, utility and attractiveness. The school building should be attractive, have adequate lighting, comfortable seating, useful service facilities such as library, multipurpose rooms, functional playground, classrooms, chalk and bulletin boards, sinks, work areas, filing and storage space and lockers for pupils and teachers etc.
We must have the following physical infrastructure for a good school.
(a) School Building:
The school building should be well planned, spaciously, functionally and with pleasing architectural features. The rooms of the building should be spacious and ventilated with all facilities like fans etc. While constructing a school building we must keep in mind the school buildings should have different facilities such a library, different types of laboratories (Physics. Chemistry Geography Biology Science, Home Sc., Drawing and Painting etc. workshops art and craft rooms, staff room, principal’s office, school office, multimedia room, conference room or theatre etc. along with assembly ground, gymnasium etc.
The architectural design of the building is the most important feature. It should allow free movement in and out of classroom for students and teachers while it is often preferred that schools are housed in single storey building in urban areas due to non-availability of land; multi-storeyed buildings arc constructed for schools. There must be a transport facility to be arranged in the building for cycles, scooter etc.
Classroom is the backbone of any school physical infrastructure. Every school should, have adequate number of classrooms and every classroom should have a pleasant look. Walls should be painted by some light colours and rooms should be carefully decorated. New charts. Paintings should be fixed on the walls.
The front wall should have blackboard at appropriate height. The walls of the back should be having built-in cupboards for keeping books, tools, crafts materials, apparatus for experiments, maps and other teaching outs. In a classroom where there arc movable seats and work tables, where varied resources for learning arc readily available in storage cabinets. The seating can be changed in a variety of activities simultaneously. The classroom should be well lighted so that students seated at different corners arc able to see the teacher and the blackboard. The location of rooms would be airy and lighted naturally on the failure of power (Electricity).
Library is a counterpart of a school physical infrastructure. It plays a vital role in the learning process of the school. The library is an essential component of a good school. The library room should be located in such a place where students are not getting disturbed by noise.
It is a place where a useful means of storing and communicable knowledge and one that teacher body cannot do without. A library is a repository of books and should have textbooks, workbooks, reference books, fiction, non-fiction books at various reading levels, reference books oil special topics and interests and related pamphlets, clippings, pictures, maps, charts, periodicals, etc. are placed in proper shelf.
Laboratory is an essential part of a school. This is the place where experiments are performed and hypothesis are tested and verified. At +2 stages a school needs biology, physics, chemistry, a computer laboratory. The physics lab should be equipped by optical, electrical, thermo dynamical, mechanical instruments.
The chemistry lab is equipped with different types of solutions, salts and components. Biology lab has to be equipped by slides, microscopes, skeletons and different specimens. Computer lab is equipped with a series of computers and systems. Mere knowledge would not sufficient for building the required competence in specific content area. If theory is supported by practices clarity could be maintained as well as psychomotor skills could be developed.
(e) The Administrative Block:
In a school infrastructure the administrative block should be well planned. The leadership and service functions are done in administrative block. The school office should be centrally located so as to serve as a good co-ordination centre, easily accessible to visitors, teachers and students. The principal’s office should be large enough to accommodate small conference and should open into the general office as well as to the corridor.
(f) Staff Room:
In the physical infrastructure there must be a room where the teachers can meet and interact with each other, do corrections of home/school work of students and refer to books etc. This room should have lockers for teachers so that they can safeguard various reference books and instructional materials and answer books and their personal belongings.
(g) School Playground:
Sound mind exists in a sound body, so die school should have well maintained playgrounds. Sports and games play so vital roles in education that they cannot be totally dispensed with. Playgrounds not only enable pupils to develop their physical but also help them to grow cognitively, socially and effectively.
Any school that has its eye on the total development of children should have enough facilities for indoor as well as outdoor sports and games. Physical education is a subject to be taught so that it should be taught in playground only.
(h) Other Facilities:
Among the above facilities there is another one which is most important for a school. These are, Art and Craft Room, Music Room, Dramatic Room, Dance Room, Sports Room, SUPW Room etc