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The Baitussalam School
Jacobabad, Pakistan
GC2022 finalist
Jacobabad, Pakistan
construction preparation
5 June 2023
The cataclysmic floods of 2022 didn't only drown one third of a country, it added an estimated 2 million children to the 32% who were already out of school for one reason or the other. With more than 27,000 schools partially or completely destroyed, children have no means to access education again. The Baitussalam School is a small gesture to revive the community and bring normalcy in the lives of the children who suffered due to the inundation.
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Baitussalam Welfare Trust is developing constructive projects toward education to reach out to deprived and remote areas all over Pakistan. The need for a proper schooling system was always eminent but the 2022 flooding has aggravated the situation further. With more than 27,000 schools devoured by the "flood on steroids", almost 2 million children have lost all connection with their schools. Schools are all the more important now, not just for education but as a haven to bring routine back to the lives of children. 
Pakistan is the second number for most out-of-school children; the number is more than 22 million children! As ignominious as it may sound, almost 52% of the children out of school in Sindh belong to poor socio-economic backgrounds. Baitussalam Welfare Trust has taken initiative with the WM Creative Studio team to initiate a child-centric, neo-vernacular, modular approach school for the flood-affected region in Sindh. The Baitussalam School will be built at Jacobabad, the hottest city in the district in the province of Sindh. This school will serve, not just as an education hub but as a safe space for the community to thrive. Unlike conventional schooling, the purpose is to take school as a space where formal and informal learning is encouraged.
The core idea is to improve literacy, rejuvenate and strengthen community bonding through farming and appreciate children and parents to learn from each other.

School systems in the country are focused mainly on teaching via books, that is theoretical learning. But it is important to understand that theory, as well as practical learning, is significant for the development of the children in particular and the community in general. As both formal[conventional education via classroom studies] and informal[skill-based learning like farming, and learning through play] education opportunities are provided, children will be well-equipped for life skills as well.

Agriculture is one of the major means of livelihood for many in Pakistan but unfortunately, little or no technological advancement is observed in the agronomic sector of the country. The school can sow a seed to a new form of learning where children and the community can learn how, in order to grow in careers, only degree-based education is not imperative but skill-based learning is as valuable. 

It is also being observed that people are giving up their farming lands to find other revenue-generating opportunities. Flooding has added to this problem, as the stagnant water in fields has worsened the situation for the victims. In the coming years, the situation will only deteriorate if new ways of growing food are not explored. Communal farming is an imperative part of the school to make people and children understand how food self-sufficiency is achievable.


Core team

Baitussalam Welfare trust works for the betterment of the people. From providing medical aid, shelter, and food to equipping the young generation with education, BWT caters to the need of the neglected sector. After the 2022 flooding, the need to rehabilitate the flood victims arises, and that is when the organization met WM Creative Studio members. The co-founders of WM conducted a flood rehabilitation workshop at the University of Karachi. Being educationists and architects, the members of WM Creative Studio wanted to find sustainable and efficient solutions to rehabilitate the victims with dignity.
Both BWT and WM Creative Studio Re-Lab further wanted to build schools for the children who had lost access to their education due to inundation. 
The Baitussalam School project is being led by Faraz Hassan Syed who is the Director, of Planning, while the finances are managed by Muhammad Immad Ali, who is a Director of Finance. Saad Ilyas is a Civil Engineer and Project Manager of the project.

The design team of WM Creative Studio relab, the team consists of three architects and research assistants. Ar. Wajiha Siddiqui is also an educationalist at the University of Karachi. Ar. Muhammad Mehdi is an environmentalist and educationalist at Sir Syed University, along with Ar. Nafeel Qureshi, whose thesis recently won The Global Design Graduate Show 2022 by Gucci/Arts Thread. Nihal Ahmed, an architecture student is being engaged in research and documentation.

From left to right: Ar. Wajiha siddiqui, Ar. Muhammad Mehdi, Isa Ali Mehdi, Ar. Nafeel Qureshi, Nihaal Ahmed

image: Nihaal Ahmed | © all rights reserved
Image gallery
To ensure inclusivity, universal design strategies are part of the design. No child should feel left out because of his/her different physical or cognitive abilities; the spaces are designed to encourage students to attend school

image: wm creative studio | © all rights reserved
Education cannot be imparted through boxed classes only, therefore, informal and formal education spaces are provided to make learning fun.

image: wm creative studio | © all rights reserved
To promote community cooperation, step farming is a major part of the design. These farming spaces will not only act as a porous surface during heavy monsoon but will also aid in creating a strong bond between parents and children, learning the skills tog

image: wm creative studio | © all rights reserved
Technical drawings
View from corridor

image: wm creative studio-Computer generated | © all rights reserved
Let learning be fun a learn & play space for children to unleash their creativity.

image: Computer generated | © all rights reserved
Interior view of class room

image: wm creative studio-Computer generated | © all rights reserved
A modular fabric and bamboo canopy, keeping the corridor and double roof shaded. The informal learning spaces can be used by both the children and the community.

image: wm creative studio-Computer generated | © all rights reserved
Modular & Energy Efficient Design

image: wm creative studio- computer generated | © all rights reserved
Typical floor plan of school learning zone.

image: wm creative studio-computer generated | © all rights reserved
Typical floor plan of school administrative zone.

image: wm creative studio-computer generated | © all rights reserved
Typical section through outdoor learn and play area.

image: wm creative studio-computer generated | © all rights reserved
Help bring our project to life!
5 June 2023
Site Selection
With the assistance of Baitussalam Welfare Trust, we have chosen a location for Baitussalam School in Jacobabad, Sindh, Pakistan. This particular site holds immense potential as it is situated in an area where there are no schools within a convenient walking distance. By establishing the school here, we can create a vital hub for the surrounding villages. The site itself is enriched by its contextual surroundings, with village dwellings to the west and fish breeding farms covering the eastern side.
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Help bring our project to life!
Where are we now
As of now, Baitussalam Welfare has managed to raise 40% of the funds needed for the construction of the school. We, WM Creative Studio, have finalized the design and it is approved to be constructed. We will be supervising the construction on the site as well. Community will also be taking part in the construction process. Builders/contractors for the projects are already selected.
An indication of our team’s capacity:
40% funding already raised
100% expertise already found
50% materials / equipment already found
40% builders already found
Finance: € 17,550
The funds that are being collected will be used for the procurement of the materials and skilled labor costs. While the local community will be involved in the construction process as helpers. The deluge has impacted them severely. As the school is not just for the betterment of the children, it is necessary to appreciate and encourage the community for their involvement in the process and to pay them for their services, after all, their resilience is what keeps the process going.
  • Material Procurement
  • Labour Cost
  • Flooring - roray, sand, polythene, mud/lime plaste
  • Mud Wall - Mud brick wall and pigment mud plaster
  • Roof - Bamboo infill 1"dia, Chatai, polythene shee
  • Finishes, Cloth for canopy, children playful mater
  • Vertical farming
  • Door
  • Logistics
Stuff: Materials, Equipment & tools
The project requires materials such as Termite-treated bamboo (3" dia, 2" dia).Equipment such as bamboo splitter, Brad point drill bit, and heating instruments for bamboo bending. 
The project requires bamboo and mud skilled laborers for construction.
Help bring our project to life!
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