The BaLa (Building as a Learning Aid) Method

The BaLA (Building as a Learning Aid) method aims to maximize the educational value of the school space by using the school  building structures (doors, stairs, windows, ceilings) as teaching instruments in such a way making easier and more interactive the learning process. Abstract concepts are explained by using concrete structures of different dimensions, textures and shapes, allowing the teachers to teach in an easier way and the children to learn with more participation and enthusiasm.

 

By using the door opening space, it could be easier to explain the angles, by employing the stairs as calculation unit is possible to teach the child how to count. By implementing the BaLA method it is possible to reach a multiple goal: improvement of school structures, children involvement in the learning process, and improvement of teaching quality.

The BaLA method, originated in the last ‘90s by the Indian Government, took off in the Asian country at the beginning of 2000’s through some pilot projects, developed with the support of local authorities. The method complies with the objectives established by the SSA Programme - Sarva Sikshaya Abdhiyan (Education for All). The SSA programme aims to promote and to guarantee the extension of the elementary education right to all Indian children.

Save the Children, working in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, which holds the ownership of this kind of projects, adapts and strengthens the BaLA method on the basis of the specific features of each project.

 

The Project Methodology

The project foresees 3 macro areas of activities:

 

1)Local stakeholders involvement:

a.     Agreements with partners and local administrations.

b.     Children and parents consultations aimed to register their opinion on the state of school buildings, in order to detect which are the gaps that can affect the learning process.

c.     Awareness activities on BaLA method and spread of more information on the school material management through orientation session dedicated to children and parents.

 

2)Training of teachers and engineers on BaLA method and project implementation

a.    Teachers’ training on BaLA method teaching techniques and school material management.

b.    Training of engineers involved in the school reconstruction project implementation.

c.     School reconstruction activities.

 

3)Ongoing training, feedback and monitoring

a.      Formation and orientation of children’s group on child rights.

b.     Regular consultation with children on the effective implementation of BaLA  method and improvement of teaching techniques.

c.      Formation and orientation of parents and other local stakeholders to project  monitoring.

 

 

For further information and details: www.savethechildren.it