The material environment

Creating and maintaining an effective material school environment includes managing and maintaining infrastructure and school furniture, and ensuring the school is kept clean, hygienic and free of litter, pollution and hazards. Toilets should be safe, so that learners (particularly girls) can use them with confidence and without fear; paper and water for hand-washing should be available. Creating and managing an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning includes ensuring that the school is free from excessive noise and is as aesthetically pleasant as possible. Schools where learners’ school and art work is prominently displayed give learners, parents and visitors the message that this work is important and valued. An effective school environment is learner-friendly, girl-friendly and teacher-friendly, so as to enhance the motivation and performance of learners and teachers (see the discussion of the interaction between working conditions and teacher motivation and performance in Section 3.5). Responsibility for maintaining such an environment lies with all those who use it, but is the ultimate responsibility of the school leadership.

3.9.3 The school environment

The cultural environment