I think that it’s time for schools and governments to finally stop the ostrich act and pull their heads out of the sand and look at the educational needs of the physical qualities of schools. Gone are the days of rows of students chanting various formulae and other information they are required to memorise. The students of today live in a highly interactive and digital world. So the physicality of schools must evolve to accommodate this. The first outcry will be about budgets! But instead we should be more concerned with making our schools sustainable and self-sustaining. How can a mud-brick and bamboo building be more expensive than concrete and steel? With correct technique and getting the balances right, environmentally sustainable materials can be just as effective, just as safe, and far cheaper alternatives to build with.
Schools need to invest in sustainable energy resources and permaculture gardening programmes to both educate and to energise the school as well as providing a carbon sink for the minimal emissions that the school will make.
Architecture and design to facilitate the change of materials and the evolving usage of classroom spaces must be of the highest priority.