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Having the right infrastructure in Higher Education matters

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Infrastructure plays an important role in education sector. Classroom design, auditoriums, laboratories, campus area etc. are crucial elements of a learning environment.

Classroom and interior design of Higher Educational Institutions have a major impact on a student’s learning and thus the outcome. There is strong evidence that high-quality infrastructure facilitates better instruction, improves student outcomes, and reduces dropout rates, among other benefits..

With the COVID-19 taking a toll, institutions have started virtual classrooms, labs, high-speed internet provider as digital infrastructure is developed across the globe.

Poor building conditions especially in Higher Education Institutions such as dark classrooms with no proper ventilation, broken furniture, leaky washrooms, poorly maintained cafeterias and pantry areas, messed-up library arrangement creates a negative environment and this adversely affects student’s learning outcome.

Also read: Dr Ashwini Kumar Sharma, Pro Chancellor, Vijaybhoomi University: Digital India initiative and challenges in the age of a pandemic

Classroom environment is one of the most important predictors of a student’s achievement, where environment and design elements of the institution infrastructure have considerable impact on student’s academic progress.

Having realized the importance of infrastructure in educational institutions, many are giving importance to this aspect of the institutions as well.

Effective infrastructure planning for educational institutions is one factor that creates positive and conducive atmosphere for a student’s learning. Be it a theory or a practical class, it must encourage students to get actively involved.

Classrooms are the backbone of any education institution. Classrooms must also be well equipped with the latest technology like AV systems, projectors, and Wi-Fi hotspots. Classroom arrangements must encourage students to work individually and as a team as well. A flexible learning place is the new trend that enables all of these.

Seating and furniture must also be given equal importance while planning classroom design. Well designed seatings are comfortable and thus provide relaxed and convenient seating to the students. This in turn leads to better attention and concentration in the class.

Well-equipped labs encourage students to perform lab activities more effectively. It prompts students to translate their theory learning into practical results. Having a well- planned and designed lab can avoid clutter and provide space for students to store materials conveniently.

The library is a resource for any educational institution. It has an important role to play in both learning and teaching. Libraries must also be flexible to incorporate technologies like e-library, digital books, access to central library and libraries across the campus in various locations. With the onset of Coronavirus, e-library and digital books are the need of the hour. There should be designated spaces that allows for reading and discussions as this enhances collaborative efforts among students.

Infrastructure should not just focus on facilities for students, but also for teachers.

Institutions must consider recreational centers such as space for indoor activities, studios for musical performances, gym, etc. as an integral part of education infrastructure rather as an add-on. Recreational centers with the right kind of furniture that helps create conducive atmosphere for students to spend time inside the campus for longer duration.

The playground is another vital component of education infrastructure. It contributes to the physical and mental wellness of a student and creates a positive atmosphere in the campus. Playgrounds must be multi-functional, flexible and safe. It must also be spacious enough to support various sports at the same time.

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