School buildings are meant for children. They are designed for them, yet somehow do not relate to them in a holistic way. Each component of the school is somehow conceived in isolation, with little consideration about what the child is finally going to experience as a whole. This work is about making the building components active facilitator in the whole process of teaching-learning (which is the primary function of the school) for children and teachers (who are the primary users).
BaLA (Building as Learning Aid) is an innovative concept towards qualitative improvement in education, through intervention in school building infrastructure.
BaLA is a way to holistically plan and use the school infrastructure. It incorporates the ideas of activity based learning, child friendliness and inclusive education for children with special needs (CWSN). At the core, it assumes that the architecture of school can be a resource for the teaching-learning processes.
Since buildings are the most expensive physical assets of a school, efforts should be made to derive maximum educational value from them. Thus, BaLA is about exploring uniqueness of three dimensional space as a child friendly learning resource for all children.
The building elements of normal concrete shapes are modified innovatively to involve children creatively. The different elements of BaLA may be located in interior and exterior spaces like classrooms, corridors and backyard so that a variety of learning situation are generated across the school space. The built structure of the school can also provide shelter during educational activities.