Khan, Smita & Kotharkar, Rajashree. "Through the Eyes of the Learner: A Critical Evaluation of an Urban Indian School," in ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 6, issue 2 (2012).
India, being the second most populated country in the world, a sizable school going population is the result of a positive and proactive response to the governmental efforts on basic education. This has catapulted the responsibility of schools and their environs in shaping young impressionable minds due to their sheer number. This study aims at exploring and investigating qualities and characteristics of an urban Indian school through critical post occupancy evaluation of the school environs through the eyes of the children. To initiate this study, a premier school of Nagpur city, exemplifying a typical urban school was identified for a pilot study. The methodology encompassed interviewing the Principal, observation by the researchers and interaction with students to understand and critically analyze usage pattern by principal users of the school. The design of the tools for user response was devised keeping in mind the age of the students and their ability to communicate spatial experiences. The paper served as a fact-finding mission and in its outcomes led to an identification of the major variables of the spatial environs of schools. It brought to fore an understanding, which the mandatory prerequisites of school infrastructure lack in a humane vision that is so imperative to educational environments. It facilitated in pinpointing the lacunae existing in the National Curriculum Framework, which is a governmental guideline for all schools in India. In conclusion, the article emphasizes the urgency in the necessary ‘humanization’ of the schools to the happiness and contentment of the young who are nurtured within its spaces.