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My Reflection on the Ergonomics of the Educational Facilities

JUNITO C. COMEROS, Ph.D.-EdMgt Student

 What are the most salient insights you gained from the topic?
The most salient insights that I gained from the topicare on:
a. Thermal comfort. To be thermally comfortable, the internal climate of the school shall
be cool, pleasant, and satisfying.Accordingly, thermal comfort in the school is obtained either by
artificial means or by natural ventilation. Artificial means include the use of electric fan, air
conditioner, among others. Natural ventilation may be obtained through: proper orientation of
school buildings, designing buildings with wise overhanging eaves, keeping buildings as narrow
as possible, providing adequate fenestration, and planting trees with a large foliage mass along
the sides of the building. According to Philippine Green Building Council (PhilGBC), natural
ventilation should be preferred. Active solutions such as electric fans or air conditioning units
should only be back-up solutions.
b. Visual comfort. Visual comfort is indicated when pupils and teachers can carry on
classroom work without unnecessarily straining their eyes or experiencing visual discomfort.
Good lighting, whether by natural daylight or artificial light, is characterized by the quantity and
quality of illumination. There are specifics on the recommended illumination levels for
classrooms depending upon the conditions of such classrooms. Natural day lighting shall be
preferred. Artificial day lighting is only back-up for cloudy or overcast sky conditions.
c. Acoustical comfort. A good environment for acoustical comfort in school requires that
noise be controlled to proper levels so that every child in a class can hear clearly what is being
spoken by the teacher above all other sounds inside and outside a classroom. Under this topic
are: the sources of sounds, ways of achieving acoustic comfort, and the desirable aural
d. Color. To contribute to visual comfort, to preserve and protect materials, and to
promote safety, proper contrast shall be observed. Hence, the importance of color, guidelines
on the use of color, color scheme adopted by DepEd and safety color scheme were taken into
considerations in this particular part.

 What is the impact of the topic to you?

Having learned these ergonomics of educational facilities, I felt a bit enlightened on
some of the basic terminologies and principles embedded in the school plant management.
Being a classroom teacher, this topic opens my mind that there should be harmony between the
people and the physical plant in order to perform efficiently the teaching-learning tasks. It gives
me basic foundation knowledge for learning more about school plant management. In order to
fully understand the deep and true meaning of managing a school plant, I need to study,
comprehend, scrutinize, and appreciate its basics. Hence, this knowledge which I considered as
a foundation is very much essential for a better understanding of managing a school plant. This
foundation will usher me to be more aware about the specifics on thermal comfort, visual
comfort, acoustical comfort and color which are some of the contributory factors to the
comfortable stay of the school populace in the school. Hence, it delights me a lot knowing the
ways on how to achieve these comforts since I am one of the concerned persons who might be
affected because my very workplace is in the school.
However, based on my instinct and personal judgement, there are specifications that are
not followed or complied in the real school facilities in the government schools in the country. I
have to admit that specifications are easier written than done. I think it is still a challenge up to
this time to follow these specifications. How can we achieve acoustical and thermal comfort if
there is a big number of students in a class? As I have mentioned earlier, specifications are
easier written that done. I am just crossing my fingers about it.
I was amazed knowing these ergonomics but I am dismayed on the other hand due to
the fact that most of the specifications were not followed in the real setting.

 In what way can these learnings be applied in your profession and as a person?
I believe that the knowledge I gained from this topic will help me along the way. These
ergonomics were specified for the common good and understanding of the learners, teachers,
administrators, and other people involved in the educational system. As specifications were
made for us, it is also our responsibility to be knowledgeable about these for us to know our
duties and responsibilities then.
For me to become an effective administrator someday, it is but proper that I understand
these things since they are the basic ideas concerning the educational facilities. It is like a
guiding star that will help me find the right path that I must adhere to so that I will be able to
achieve the ideals of school plant management. I will be able to make things essential for the
lives of the school populace. In my profession, it serves as my direction in terms of addressing
with the issues and concerns regarding educational facilities.
It is an utmost desire of a teacher or the administrator to achieve quality teaching and
learning outcomes. But how can these be achieved if the environment we are working is not an
excellent avenue for ultimate learning to happen? Hence, I do believe that there should be
reforms in terms of our current practices. Our problem really is on the inconsistency of the
orders, rules or guidelines to our practices. That is why, in the global perspective, we are
lagging behind other Asian countries.Our practices should be in consonance with what are
being stipulated in the orders, rules or guidelines. Most importantly, I guess, is that we should
benchmark more on the best practices of other countries whose education systems are soaring
high and adopt these practices so that ours would improve also.