Vinyas Centre for Architectural Research and Desig

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Vinyas Centre for Architectural Research and Desig: Security Bars on Windows Teach Fractions

New Delhi, India
Year Founded:
2002
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Scaling
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if infrastructure could be utilized to promote learning in all school spaces?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Children perceive their world through a multi-sensory experience, yet education, especially in rural government schools, is strictly one-dimensional. Teachers follow rote methods, with little additional material to reinforce learning. Moreover, because of administrative duties and limited resources, rural teachers are often not present, leaving children without resources for constructive engagement in areas where education is the only way out of abject poverty.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Vinyas improves the quality of education by transforming the one common element in all rural schools—the physical infrastructure. Its Building as Learning Aid (BALA) idea uses school spaces, including classrooms, steps, and the natural environment, to create affordable learning environments that can be actively used as learning resources, with or without teacher presence: a window security grill to help students conceptualize fractions, a range of angles marked under a door to explain basic geometry, and ceiling fans painted with color wheels to understand rotational symmetry. By creating individualized indoor and outdoor spaces of learning, Vinyas' 150 three-dimensional spaces optimize existing resources to aid child development.
Impact: How does it Work

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Vinyas' revolutionary approach to learning environment has become a staple of rural Indian schools, partnering with the government's Education for All program to develop BALA in 8 states. Already in 2,500 schools across the country, BALA has been proven to increase enrollment, retention, and attendance in school. Teachers report increased willingness among children to come to school and a reduction in vandalism. There have also been several instances where children from private schools have moved to government schools after the implementation of BALA. More importantly BALA has triggered a thinking process among teachers to explore activity-based learning methods for more creative, effective teaching.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Apart from its truly innovative approach, Vinyas' brilliance comes from its optimization of existing infrastructure. From utilizing already built schools to integrating into government program SSA and even engaging teacher knowledge through a participatory design process, Vinyas maximizes its impact by using what already exists. Instead of starting from scratch, Vinyas believes existing infrastructure, policy, and knowledge can be better harmonized to transform student learning and revolutionize the Indian education system.
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