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No more drab & bare schoolrooms now

RURAL ENGINEERING Services (RES) and village government schools. Both conjure up images of filthy places manned by corrupt and incompetent staff.

india Updated: Sep 03, 2006 13:23 IST

RURAL ENGINEERING Services (RES) and village government schools. Both conjure up images of filthy places manned by corrupt and incompetent staff.

Breaking this image, the two have come out with innovations that could prove exemplary for prominent architects and public schools in future.

In first of its iconoclastic attempt made in Madhya Pradesh, Indore RES will construct 84 primary and middle schools whose buildings will serve as a learning aid for children in villages across the district. Besides imparting primary education, the buildings with their bright hues will be attractive enough to draw children from home.

This concept of Building As Learning Aid (BALA) will also be introduced for constructing 230 additional schoolrooms in the district. Together, 314 BALA school structures will be ready by March 2007. Of the total, 16 buildings will be constructed in Indore municipal limits. State Government has sanctioned Rs 8.41 crore for BALA under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

The money will be deposited in account of the concerned Parents Teachers Association (PTA), which will release the sum for construction to take place under RES technical supervision.

Geometrical designs like squares, triangles, circles, scales, alphabets, numbers and tables will be painted in bright colours in corridors, classroom walls and doors to help children pick up the basics of mathematics. In some buildings, classroom ventilators will be designed as squares, rectangles or triangles to make children memorise geometrical figures.

The cement benches or platforms to be constructed in playgrounds will also have similar designs. Graphic and tribal art will be painted in rainbow colours. This is to acquaint children with art and inform about the colours a rainbow has. A large 360-degree protractor will be drawn at the doorstep so that children learn to measure the angle where the door panel stops on the geometrical instrument painted on floor.

“The flag stand will serve as solar clock where the sun shadow falling at different places will help students know the time. The classroom outer walls will have similar designs, so that children who reach before school opens can study them without entering class. It will be a revision for them. Besides, there will be slogans and portraits of eminent personalities,” RES Executive Engineer S R Vishwakarma, who has designed BALA models, informed.

There are three BALA models. The one costing Rs 2.05 lakh will have two classrooms of 5 x 3.50 meters each and an open 5.20 x 3.70 meter platform. Another priced at Rs 3.35 lakh will have two classrooms of 5 x 7.40 meters each in addition to 5 x 4 meter verandah. Another costing Rs 1.84 lakh is for building an additional classroom of 4.50 x 7.50 meter and a 4.50 x 2.30 meter verandah.

A BALA school building, which has come up at Palia village in Sanver tehsil, is based on the second model. Vishwakarma said RES was imparting one-day quality control training to parents, teachers, masons and fabricators on choosing right construction material, ratio for mixing construction material, calculating labour, transport cost to ensure strong and proper construction of BALA structures. The training-cum-awareness programme has been held in Indore, Mhow and Depalpur tehsil. It would be conducted in Sanver tehsil shortly.

BALA concept has been borrowed from a book by similar name authored by architect Kabir Vajpayee and was issued to Education Department officials, RES and PWD engineers in the State last year.