>> Prefab, temporary classrooms <<
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PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS in URUGUAY
Primary school buildings show deficiencies. Such problems may differ depending on the school’s location: rural areas, downtown or outskirts.
If we first analyze rural areas, we must point out that the number of buildings and their location can be considered satisfactory. However, in most cases, these buildings cannot cope with present needs: the number of students is constantly rising; 7th, 8th and 9th grade have been incorporated in the curricula; teachers and students must use classrooms as dormitories [because the lack of appropriate means of transport doesn’t allow them to go back home everyday].
In urban areas, several school buildings that had been built several decades ago, can no longer cope with today’s activities: kindergarten has become mandatory at initial education, and school day has been extended from 4 to 7 hours. This full-time model not only means students will stay longer at school, but also requires rooms where new activities will take place: computer room, arts center. (1)
“Right now, any area may end up being a classroom: small storage rooms, containers, hallways and even dining rooms. As an example, there are two schools sharing a building. After 300 students have had lunch in shifts, the dining room is immediately cleaned up so that other students can then use it for lessons”. NOVARESE, Carina. Mis 50 compañerito
2. FLUCTUATION IN STUDENTS’ POPULATION
Primary Education shows fluctuations in enrolment. Between 1995 and 2004 school enrolment increased by almost 40,000 children. This increase is due to the progressive inclusion of five-year-old pupils firstly and four-year-olds secondly, as part of the universalisation of preschool education. The head of the Council of Primary Education, explained that the school population has been decreasing because the birth rate has also been declining steadily. Projections by the authorities show that it will fall even further, once the four-year universalisation objective has been fully achieved.
The unexpected population increase in some cities requires schools to be built as fast as possible. In some areas, classrooms are being incorporated to existing buildings (2). Other times a new school should be built. (3)
The pace of construction has not even remotely been able to catch up with this growing population of children. (4)
In the international context, according to the World Bank, educating all children worldwide will require the construction of 10 million new classrooms in more than 100 countries by 2015. (5)
PROPOSAL : PREFAB MODULAR SYSTEM
This system consists of prefab modular elements to build classrooms and restrooms fast and easily. These objects are: light, versatile, easy to be transported and installed, dismountable [leaving no trace in the environment].
The modules include: Rings of classrooms, restroom / kitchenette, structural, plumbing and electrical systems, furniture / equipment.
The modules can be installed either in urban or rural areas. They can be adapted to paved surfaces or natural sites.
The way the classrooms and toilets will be put together depends on: number of students, location, orientation, topography, pedagogic requirements and the length of time they will remain in that place.
Assisted by architects and designers, teachers and kids will decide what their school will look like [by choosing the position of restrooms and windows, selecting colors and patterns for walls and doors].
They can be used for a complete school year, or just a few weeks [in case a classroom at an existing school is being repaired].
When it’s no longer needed, the whole system can be dismounted. The objects can then be used elsewhere or recycled. [Materials allow the whole system to be recycled].
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Description and Number of Beneficiaries/Users:
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Nominated by Aldana