SSA to take up GIS mapping of schools

          Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Karnataka, has embarked upon an ambitious project of mapping nearly 74,000 educational institutions, including junior colleges, in the State using the geographical information system (GIS) to bolster education by making best use of school infrastructure and to facilitate planning and development.

          Karnataka is the fourth State after Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh to go for electronic mapping of schools, including aided and unaided schools. There are about 46,000 primary schools, 12,000 primary aided schools and 16,000 high schools and junior colleges in the State.

          The GIS mapping of schools in the State may be taken up on the model developed in Andhra Pradesh. The GIS software developed in Andhra Pradesh is being customised by the National Informatics Centre for storing, analysing and displaying geographical data of schools.

          The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has given the green signal to the SSA-Karnataka for taking up the project in view of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act or Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2010.

          Data collection will be undertaken by visiting schools and at least 10 photographs of infrastructure in each school such as classrooms, playground, drinking water facility, school compound, toilets, etc., will be incorporated in the project.

          GIS mapping of schools would help strengthen school education and serve as a key tool for planning and developing school infrastructure after taking geographical factors into consideration.

          Data on schools updated every year by the Department of Public Instruction will be incorporated in the project. The project would help the authorities to know the exact location of schools, distance between two schools, and habitations that lack schools. It would take at least eight to 10 months for collecting field data. The GIS map of schools would be ready by December-end or early next year.

          The Karnataka State Remote Sensing Applications Centre would be supporting the project and added that data on roads, water bodies, human habitation, green cover, etc., would be incorporated while mapping schools.

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