Regardless of the country, good school facilities help determine the success of students and the effectiveness of a teacher’s lesson. However, with tight budgets and staff costs, the condition of school facilities is often further down the list of priorities.
Studies show that school facilities have an impact on the overall school experience of students and teachers. According to an article by PennState University, school facilities affect teacher recruitment and retention. More importantly, they also affect the health, behaviour and engagement of the students. Thus, adequate facilities make it easier for the school to deliver better education.
Many parents often do not consider the quality of school facilities as a factor in choosing a school for their children, looking only at exam rates. Good equipment and facilities are part of a school’s holistic approach to improving the learning environment and balancing academics with other important non-curriculum activities, whether science lab facilities or sports equipment. When a school invests in facilities, the benefits to the school go far beyond the initial capital costs.
Helps improve environmental conditions
School facilities improve the quality of the study environment in the school, thus improving the quality of education. For example, if the classroom layout considers the room’s acoustics, then the students will be able to focus and concentrate more on their studies with teachers facing fewer distractions.
Schools can also better utilise outdoor space by installing outdoor canopies or waiting sheds so students can hang out during breaks, whatever the weather. This provides the opportunity to relax outside the classroom and allows them to refresh and refocus when returning to lessons.
The classroom lighting also affects students’ performance. Studies found natural light helps boost their morale and motivation, with long periods in artificial lighting negatively affecting students’ concentration.
Facilities should depend on the school size
Schools with a bigger school population often result in a larger staff to student ration. One concern is that slower learners or students requiring learning support are more likely to be missed by teaching staff and counsellors. Smaller schools often have better rates of attendance, extracurricular engagement and a sense of belonging among its students because teachers are able to focus their attention more on the limited numbers.
In addition, overcrowded classrooms have been linked to aggression and decreased levels of student engagement, thus lowering the quality and level of learning.
Quality of school facilities
The quality of school facilities affects students in two ways. Firstly, a lack of facilities limits the ability of a student to achieve various learning and extra curricula activities. Secondly, a lack of facilities has a negative impact on a teachers’ job satisfaction, which undermines their motivation to teach.
Deeper focus in education
Although maintaining and modernising a school’s facilities have always been a balancing act with other school expenses, more studies are beginning to highlight the full impact of a well-equipped learning environment. In turn, school governors and heads have a clearer understanding of the benefits and are giving more attention to the issue.
With the will of the school managers, and the continuing improvements and innovations of school facilities, the learning environment is more interactive and conducive. With good facilities, teachers will be better prepared to adapt to the changing education requirements of their students for the job market.