Education Ministry ramps up use of GIS for school mapping, educational planning

Education Ministry ramps up use of GIS for school mapping, educational planning

Sunday, December 01, 2019

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Do you want to get quick authoritative profile of the public school your child attends or will attend? Do you want to know more about the programmes offered in different schools and where they are located? Well, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information through its Planning and Development Division is moving to make more real-time data and other information on schools available to the general public.

With the increased use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for analyses in developing strategies for project planning, members of the public will soon be able to have easier access to information on schools' profiles, population, programme offerings, and performance in national and external exams.

While the ministry has used GIS technologies over a number of years to plan for new schools, determine land mass for expansion, infrastructure development programmes and school location in relation to natural hazards and population pecularities, there is a greater push to use current enhanced technology to fine-tune the process.

The Planning and Development Division is responsible for the formulation and integration of educational policies, educational plans, programmes and projects and within this division, the Educational Planning Unit (EPU) has the responsibility of ensuring that the right environment is created for children to receive and have access to good quality education. As such, one of the unit's main mandates is school location planning. This involves school mapping, macro-level physical planning, and collaborating on the mobilisation of resources needed to achieve the goals of the ministry.

The ministry recognises the vast capabilities of GIS and the EPU continues to build its geospatial databases, having collected data such as the geographic location of schools. It is expected that having access to other data, external to the ministry — such as those on related natural features and infrastructure including rivers, roads, economic and administrative Centres, medical facilities, religious facilities, and other social and environmental factors that more and better information will be available to advance policy decisions.

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