Posted On Thu, Mar 24 2011 12:34:00
Authors: Kayode Olu Ijaduola , Joshua Oni , K.O. Muraina
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The school could be viewed as an organized environment where educational curricular are interpreted. It is a formal structured organization which serves as a transitional stage in life between family and the society (Olabode, 2002; Musa, 2004; Tabir, 2004). Conversely, the school plant according to Nwokafor and others (2001), is the totality of all things that make up a school system. It involves the physical and material facilities in form of buildings, school site and the environment that embody the school. Similarly, Charis (2001) Irele (2003), Dimmock (2004) and Adegoke (2005) agree that the school plants include the site, the building and equipment and this include the permanent structures like workshop, libraries, classrooms, laboratories and semi permanent structures like the educational system itself. Ajayi (2001) and Ijaduola (2008a) clipped in that the school plant need to be adequately managed in order to ensure both effectiveness and efficiency of the system. Thus, school plant planning is the process of positioning school facilities in a comfortable place where educational activities could be achieved. Adeyemi (2006) also referred to school plant planning as the process of management, construction, utilization and maintenance of school facilities to ensure goal achievement. Banuso (2003) highlighted educational parts as perishable or non-perishable, consumable or non-consumable, movable or immovable, tangible for teaching and learning to take place in an atmosphere conducive for the realization of the lofty objectives of the national policy on education. In a nutshell, Olaniyomi (2007) divided school plants into seven categories with their component elements as follows: (i) Buildings - Instructional, administrative, circulation convenience and accessories. (ii) Machinery - Workshop, machines and duplicating machines. (iii) Transports - Vehicles, i.e. school bus, staff bus, tractors etc. (iv) Equipment - Laboratory and workshop equipment, sporting equipment, teaching aids, computer. (v) Furniture - table, desks, bookshelves. (vi) Books - Library books.
(vii) Utilities - Electricity, water supply, communication system. Nevertheless, school plants planning require maximum cooperation and hardwork from a combined team of the school principal, teachers, students and other school personnel and the community. The common goal of operation and maintenance as remarked by Ojedele (2008) is to keep physical plants in the best possible condition at all time. Thuis the importance of school plant maintenance as identified by Olagboye (2008) include: 1. Proper maintenance of school plant ensures safety for those occupying the school building. 2. It facilitates teaching and learning process. 3. It saves costs. This is because reactivating a collapsed building may cost more than to make early repairs on the building. 4. It ensures the suitability of school plant for continued use because repairs and replacement of various equipment make such equipment to be in good shape. 5. It reduces student unrest and demonstration because students can protest or demonstrate when school plants are not well maintained e.g. toilet facilities, poor electricity etc. In view of the aforementioned importance of school plant maintenance, Anderson (2004); Abe, (2007) and Ijaduola (2008b) advised that professionals in the area of architecture and engineering should be involved in planning of the school plant right from the initial stage as each...