The Challenge


How might we increase the availability of affordable learning tools & services for students in the developing world? read the brief


Building As Learning Aid

BALA is a way of rethinking a child’s relationship with the school space by using every inch of the school building - from floors, walls, pillars and staircases inside, to trees, flowers and rainwater outside - as an aid to learning
Building as Learning Aid emphasises the importance of the physical space of the school in making learning a constant and exciting journey. An innovative physical environment can introduce a new dimension to the educational experience beyond the black and white humdrum of textbooks, making the content of learning more vivid and enlivening. Children love to engage in physical activity, from pushing around furniture to scribbling excessively on walls. And why not? Children’s spaces should be built to accommodate such spontaneous activity.
BaLA is an effort to see the world as a child does. It relies on open spaces, greenery, surfaces on which to doodle and scribble, contraptions to learn from.
These range from inexpensive playground equipment to use of common spaces in schools, to simply colouring up the walls and floors to make the school look exciting and inviting. Showcased in an attractive and simple layout in the book, these ideas can go a long way in turning our schools into spaces of joyful learning.


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Imran Khan

May 21, 2012, 00:58AM
An amazing change in traditional teaching learning process.......i saw it here too... ....a photo blog of an engineer in Rajasthan India...working to develop BaLA structures in rural areas.

Steve Curati

August 10, 2010, 10:12AM
Ambient education - what a great idea!

Keshav Raghavan

August 10, 2010, 00:36AM
Awesome idea, especially for primary school

Keshav Raghavan

August 10, 2010, 00:36AM
Awesome idea, especially for primary school

Vincent Cheng

August 09, 2010, 16:19PM
Very inspiring!

Adriana Olmos

August 09, 2010, 03:27AM
This is a beautiful one, along with the one from Meena Kadri

smriti mehrotra

August 08, 2010, 14:00PM
Involving the older kids in making the aids could defiantly turn out to be beneficial, for this we could take inspiration from - " Early Childhood Development in a Box" by jocelyn, the kids in groups could form such learning and experimental aids, which could then be inculcated in the surroundings, to share and learn with other group of kids.

Eroteme ?

August 08, 2010, 04:55AM
Very useful inspiration. I think this along with Meena's reference to Aseema's idea of using storm water grills can make a whole city/village a throbbing source of education!

Meena Kadri

August 08, 2010, 04:46AM
Great idea – and was surprised when I googled round that this was part of an Indian government venture! Loads of possibilities with this one... and of course it can be part of any existing structure – not only within buildings: Plus could older children themselves be involved in the creation of aids? (in the same way that kids are sometimes included in mural painting)
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