Recently completed are two new teacher houses located on the school grounds to the north of the main classroom courtyard. The existing teacher housing is a mix of crumbling ranch houses, mud brick huts, and concrete block shells with leaking roofs.
The focus of many school-centered organizations is on facilities for learning only, which is deeply important. But, we take a global view that the quality of the teachers (and the ability to retain them) is central to everyone's success and that they are a critical part of the school and local community. They need to be supported and, at a minimum, offered humane living conditions in order to be effective.
Each house has three bedrooms, a living and dining space, and a pantry/utility area. The houses will be wired for electricity to allow for solar panels to be mounted on the roof and give much-needed light and power. With varied windows, sized to address the angle of the sun, they adequately daylight the rooms without contributing to heat gain. A band of clerestory windows filters light through a dried sugar cane screen and clear corrugated panels shade the outdoor verandah. A single pitch roof encourages breezes through the lower windows and out through the clerestory to provide cooling air through the spaces.
To be completed this Spring, the teacher housing initiative is one that we launched with great excitement, so we're thrilled to have the teacher's moving in in the next few weeks. The impact that they will have on not just the living conditions, but the morale of the teachers, is enormous. As we strive to improve the school environment, this piece of the puzzle is essential and integral to the whole.