“Thousands of [Indian] children lose their lives in disasters every year… The fragile bodies recovered from the wreckage of a fallen school often represent more than a human tragedy. They are evidence of needless ignorance that can be prevented. SEEDS school safety initiative is an endeavour to protect these young lives and provide them with a safe learning environment. This involves training children on life saving skills and effective response, strengthening school buildings to withstand natural disasters and developing school disaster management plans.” – SEEDS India
We will be centring our workshop on the Leh government girls’ school in Ladakh which was damaged in the 2010 floods. The school is near the centre of Leh town and has approximately 300 pupils (13-19 year olds) with 28 teachers and 16 non teaching staff.
The workshop will look at practical ways of improving the safety, sustainability and the suitability of learning environment provided by the school buildings. The workshop will also look at how an understanding of good building practice can be integrated into the school curriculum in a simple and engaging way so that the important principles of safe and culturally appropriate building can be disseminated into the community.
To promote appropriate building technologies and processes for safer, more sustainable, culturally sensitive and inspiring learning environments in Ladakh
The more specific workshop ambitions are set out below. These will be fine tuned through teamwork and initial workshop research tasks by participants, facilitators and experts.
1. To study traditional and modern buildings with particular focus on safety, sustainability and the local culture
2. To study traditional and modern learning environments and the culture of learning in the region
3. To identify and map potential material resources, construction skills and knowledge
4. To test locally available and appropriate materials and technologies
5. To design, develop and construct prototypes exploring appropriate materials and technologies
6. To present prototypes and concepts to school children, the local community, masons, local NGOs and local
7. To disseminate ideas for safe, sustainable, culturally sensitive and inspiring learning environments
1. An analysis of traditional buildings and construction techniques
2. An analysis of current construction techniques and key areas of concern
3. Identifi cation of key material resources, construction skills and knowledge
4. Innovative 1:1 prototypes exploring appropriate materials and technologies
5. Documentation of the different design options explored
6. Design proposal for a demonstration school building, or retrofit of an existing school building, for a local NGO that can be used as a model for schools in Ladakh.
7. Lessons learned workshop at the end of the project duration
8. Publishing, publicising and distributing the workshop outcomes