Best Practices in Educational Facilities Investments

Peguao-ty Village Indigenous State School, Município de Sete Barras, São Paulo, Brazil

Exemplary design categories: community use and involvement, cost efficiency, flexible learning settings, technology rich

How the facility meets the needs of education and communities:
This school was a pilot project for a school building programme in 32 indigenous village communities that aims to integrate modernity with the educational mission of the school though sustainable lean-to construction designs. The aim of this pilot project was to integrate the school within the natural landscape and open it to village activities; to create flexible spaces that incorporate new technologies; and to optimise the costs of construction and maintenance of school buildings. Building components were prefabricated, which facilitated the construction process in this remote region. The school is divided into three areas: reflexive/interactive classrooms, in which the student is involved in activities with low noise levels; ICT areas; and creative/interactive spaces, which are circulation areas and a covered courtyard, which can be used by a larger number of students and/or community. The areas are equipped with furniture which can be moved to accommodate different layouts and facilitate the use of ICTs. The school’s remote location in a state national park posed some challenges to school construction. The site was difficult to access and there were certain restrictions related to protecting the unique landscape. In an effort to mitigate the negative impact of construction on the environments, there was a focus on sustainable practices and materials, management and low environmental impact. The local village uses the facility outside of school hours.

Involvement of users and the local community in the planning and design process:
Dialogue between the architects, building company, indigenous population and teachers of the central administration of the Education Secretariat and the school resulted in the construction of a building which fits the local culture. The project was undertaken using labour from the indigenous community and the municipality of Sete Barras.

Activity Areas: circulation areas, covered courtyard, classrooms, ICT spaces

Project costs: R$ 340,000.00

Source: Submitted to OECD for "Designing for Education: Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities 2011" in 2010

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User perspectives (3)

“I’ve never seen such a beautiful school. It is precisely the way I believe all school buildings should be: a true home which provides coziness and comfort also essential to ensure quality in the teaching-learning process…We are well acquainted with the difficulties faced during these months (of construction), after all the weather did not cooperate, it rained steadily. Therefore, carrying materials which was already done by means of carts or upon the shoulders got even more difficult. Not even in those moments did their dedication waver, rather, the workers were proud and enthusiastic because they knew they were taking part in the history of indigenous school education in the State of São Paulo”.
Professor Ademilda, Education supervisor
“I’ve always seen a school as something important, and quite often our medicine men say it can even be harmful... the way I see it, school has helped defend our culture. We have to know the law and use it in a way to help the community”.
Tribal chief Luiz Euzébio
“It makes me really happy, for when I was ten years old I studied in the school made of straw [1st improvised school] and when it rained I shivered from cold. There was a lot of mud and my feet got dirty. We had to use boots because our feet got wet and muddy. I didn’t know how to read, to write, nothing. At the age of twelve we moved to the school made of wood [2nd improvised school] and I already knew Maths, Sciences and History. I’m very glad because after ten years the leaders managed to get this very beautiful school! First of all I thank Nhanderu [God], the tribal chief, the teachers… Now I hope to be a teacher too. Next month I’m going to study in this school and help my teacher”.
Silvio Aquiles Euzébio, Student, Grade 6

Images (5)

Drawings (4)

Building Plan (Registration required)
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Credit: Nanci Saraiva Moreira and Sandra Tiemi Canashiro
Building plan (Registration required)
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Credit: Nanci Saraiva Moreira and Sandra Tiemi Canashiro
Paranapiacaba - Forest Atlântica Forest Reserve (Registration required)
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Credit: Nanci Saraiva Moreira and Sandra Tiemi Canashiro
Furniture plan (Registration required)
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Credit: Nanci Saraiva Moreira and Sandra Tiemi Canashiro