Although bottle schools can be a great solution for many different communities around the world, this does not mean that they are appropriate in every situation. Below are some of the reasons why it may not be appropriate to build a bottle school in some communities.
No need for a school
It might sound obvious, but it would be a big mistake to go into a community as an outsider and say “These people need a school.” Perceptions with “western” eyes can be very different from the reality of what people truly need: maybe there is something else they need a lot more than a bottle school. Ask them. The demand has to be led by the community, not by outsiders. There may be other needs in the community that are more pressing than a bottle school.
A school is not much use without teachers! You will need to ensure that there is a commitment from the Ministry of Education, or other appropriate body, to provide suitably qualified teachers for an indefinite period after the school is completed.
No community buy-in or commitment
This is a very important aspect of a bottle school project. It takes thousands of person- hours to collect and stuff all the bottles needed to build a bottle school, and provide the labor needed to construct the school. Local customs and traditions may dictate that things are done in certain ways; respect them. If the community is suspicious of the project or the people working on it, and does not embrace the project fully, it will not be a success.
No one to oversee the project
A bottle school project, as outlined in this manual, takes a