GIS based School Mapping
Gujarat Council of Elementary Education

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is a comprehensive and integrated flagship programme of Government of India for universalizing Elementary Education (UEE) in a time bound manner. The program seeks to provide schooling facilities in those habitations which do not have basic educational infrastructure. The primary idea is to monitor and enhance school infrastructure by providing additional class rooms, toilets, drinking water facilities, maintenance grant and school improvement grant. In Gujarat, the SSA project is implemented through a State level registered society which goes by the name of Gujarat Council of Elementary Education. The RTE Act mentions that ‘Every child of the age of 6-14 years shall have a right to free and compulsory education in its neighborhood school till completion of elementary education’. The Act also mentions that if a school does not exist within an area or distance limit prescribed as the neighborhood, the concerned Government and the local authority shall establish a school in this area within a period of three years. Therefore, all children from such disadvantaged groups and economically weaker sections, children with special needs and children involved in child labour must be in a school within three years time. This provision in the RTE Act is applicable to the SSA goals on providing the access to universal elementary education. The State needs to arrive at a clear picture of current availability of schools within defined area or limits of neighborhoods. This will require mapping of neighborhoods or habitations and linking them to specific schools. It is possible that a neighborhood may be linked to more than one school. Similarly, a school may be linked to more than one neighborhood. A comprehensive exercise will help identify gaps and areas where new schools need to be opened. For this purpose, all the SSA programs in states need to create special system to identify and facilitate research on facilities of schools available in their states. Before implementation of GIS, School mapping was limited to Taluka/Block level. It was done manually through research. So it had many limitations and did not provide enough information. There were broad level maps showing position of schools, where there is no distance criteria mentioned. All the data were in separate and scattered form. It was not possible to get the actual analysis for further implementations and actions. Enhancement of existing educational infrastructure was a major challenge because there was no way to get a real time understanding of ground level realities. Thus, any effort expended on enhancing infrastructure remained under the risk that the efforts were not focused on areas where the requirement was the highest. The overall strategy of the department and policy making was a challenging task. There was no real clarity on how the requirement of infrastructure at various places be assessed against each other.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The solutions to the problems mentioned in Section 1 were proposed by the SSA team of Gujarat. The idea was conceptualized by the MIS team working at the State Project office. The team works under the guidance of the State Project Director for the Sarva Shikhsha Abhiyan initiative. The solution was implemented as a Decision Support System utilizing a GIS application. The GIS application was developed and supported by BISAG i.e Bhaskaracharya Institute of Space Applications and Geo-Informatics. BISAG provides specialized services and solutions in implementing map-based Geo Spatial Information Systems. It undertakes all activities related to implementation of an enterprise level GIS system. These services include GIS database design and development, map creation/updation and finishing, data migration/conversion and format translation, software development and customization, systems integration and technical consulting. It also provides complete GIS based solutions, which bundle hardware and software with GIS systems development services. It offers a list of e-governance solution to address varying GIS and MIS needs of governments and municipal corporations. Main objectives of the system are: 1.Identification of most suitable habitations for proposed school based on the demography and details of available infrastructure at various locations 2.To check availability of Primary School within 1 KM and Upper Primary school within 3 km as per RTE act. The initiative was helpful in solving the problem because the GIS based mapping system provided for a ready made decision support system, a luxury which many offices don’t have. Earlier, decision making was extremely difficult because of lack of knowledge about the ground level realities and most decisions were taken based on an informal feedback from ground level authorities. As a result, there was a clear disconnect between policies and decisions and the actual reality on ground. It was difficult to plan for establishment of education infrastructure without a clear idea of which places are lagging behind. With GIS based mapping, decision making has become prompt and it is easier to identify the needy areas. As a result, SSA is better able to point to the un-served habitations and focus its efforts on improving infrastructure in such areas instead of spending fruitlessly. This has ensured that their actions are in line with their end goals. GIS mapping has led to rapid realization of one of SSAs objectives to ensure quality education and related infrastructure for children. While earlier decision making was difficult due to no ready availability of information, with infrastructure constantly being mapped into the GIS application, senior policy makers could take prompt actions and make concentrated efforts in comprehensive development. This led to speedy rollout of new schools and equipped the office of the project director with a powerful tool to make a quantum jump towards their mission of complying with RTE and achieving the objectives of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
As the actual location of each school (Latitude and Longitude) is fixed through Google Earth application under GIS School Mapping, it provides detailed information on School locations which is done with School DISE i.e District Information System for Education (DISE). Nearby places or landmarks have also been marked along with schools, CRC, BRC, and Cluster Boundary in GIS environment. Integration of Geo Spatial and DISE data: Geo Spatial database is integrated with DISE which provides information on vital educational parameters relating to students, teachers and infrastructure at elementary stage. Due to this integration, Geographical and criteria based analysis is possible on various parameters like, 1.Literacy Rate 2.Gender Gap in literacy 3.Enrolment 4.Dropout Rate 5.Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) 6.Availability of infrastructure facilities i.e. boundary wall, play ground, electricity, common toilet, girls toilet etc. The initiative not only helps to provide basic schooling, it goes a step ahead to improve the quality of infrastructure at each school so that students can receive quality education.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Since the initiative was mainly to implement a GIS system which could aid decision making, the choice of technology was based on geospatial technology as advised by BISAG. Team: i) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) ii) Bhaskaracharya Institute for Space Application and Geo-informatics (BISAG) Initiatives taken for development: 1.Actual location of each school (Latitude and Longitude) retrieved from the Google Earth application 2.School location marked in Google earth software by each CRC co. & Block MIS co. at Block level 3.School location marked as School DISE code and also nearby famous places were also marked 4.The Lat/Long obtained were integrated in the actual GIS application of BISAG 5.Mapping of schools, CRC, BRC, Cluster Boundary in GIS environment 6.Integration of Geo-Spatial Database with departmental school data 7.Criteria based GIS analysis - category wise (For Primary and Upper Primary school) 8.Identification of habitation not served by present criteria 9.Identification of most suitable location for establishing proposed school based on the Demography generation and available infrastructure facility 10.GIS based School information system(Web GIS) Data Sources: 1.District Information System for Education (DISE) School Database 2.High Resolution Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Data 3.Revenue boundary, Settlement Location 4.Road and building departmental Data 5.Census data Strategic actions defined for the initiative: 1.Mapping of actual 40943 school locations, CRC, BRC, and Cluster Boundary in GIS environment. 2.Integration of Geo-Spatial Database with Departmental School Data. 3.Criteria based GIS Analysis i.Category wise (For Primary and Upper Primary School) ii.Facility Wise iii.Management wise. iv.Educational parameters like PTR, Gender participation index, Enrollment, dropout. v.Identification of infrastructural gap to meet RTE norms. 4.Identification of villages not served by present criteria. 5.Identification of most suitable village location for proposed school based on the Demography and available infrastructure facility. 6.User search facility of nearby school through Google maps. 7.Creation of buffer of the user's position and list of schools under that buffer. 8.Authorized official can add new school by inserting latitude-longitude of that location. 9.Facilities related to new school can be updated through form. 10.New dimension to analysing and monitoring RTE implementation. 11.Feedback form from citizen to Government(Access, Quality & Infrastructure)

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
While the initiative was spearheaded by the State Project Director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, he was backed by the SSA MIS team and the technology support provided by BISAG. Apart from them, the actual implementation and ground work has been done by Block Resource Coordinators and Cluster Resource Coordinators who were responsible for the actual mapping exercise. The following team members have actively participated for successful implementation of the System: 1.State Management Information System (MIS) Team 2.District MIS Team & District Project Coordinators 3.Block MIS Team & Block Resource Centre (BRC) Coordinators 4.Cluster Resource Centre (CRC) Coordinators To participate in the mapping processes, all CRCs and BRCs were provided thorough training on the mapping process along with training on the following topics: 1.Use of KML file with Google Earth application 2.Mapping the DISE village code with Census village code.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
In house development of the solution and continued technical support from a state based agency BISAG has led to reduction in costs of the GIS. Enhancements and additions to the decision support system are provided promptly by BISAG. Initially, an expenditure of Rs.6,00,000/- was made for technical support of BISAG to develop a GIS environment. The system is being maintained without any financial burden with the help of an in-house team and support from BISAG. The funds for development and maintenance are being provided through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan scheme. Gujarat Council of Elementary Education (GCEE) and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) have implemented the GIS School Mapping with its own project team with the support of BISAG. The Statement Management Information System under the guidance of GCEE has monitored and executed the implementation strategy. At the field level, the MIS team coordinates with the various district MIS team and the CRC and BRC for actual mapping of attributes pertaining to various schools.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Result Achieved: 1.Objectives of the Right to education Act (RTE) have been achieved. 2.Stakeholders have become more technology friendly and more conscious of the need for better educational facilities 3.Department of Education has become more efficient and accurate in detailing of all the activities and planning its activities out 4.SSA is able to provide quality services and is more aligned with its goals due to feedback provided by end users and SSA staff itself. 5.System is available in public domain for use of citizens with URL- www.gujarat-education.gov.in/ "Click on Know your Neighbourhood School" 6.Users are free to access and shoot customized query in the system to fetch data as per their need Objectives fulfilled: GIS School Mapping works as a decision support system to identify areas where improvement in educational infrastructure is required. So far, the following objectives have been achieved: 1.All 40943 schools including private schools mapped with actual school locations and Block-Cluster boundary 2.School facility mapping in GIS environment. 3.Multi-criteria analysis. 4.Efficient Selection of villages to setup a new school. 5.Verification of suggested villages. 6.GIS based gap analysis. 7.Proposing new locations based on existing facilities. The system not only helps the children or parents to find out the best schools to study in, but also provides a comparative analysis between schools which helps them to take the right decision. It fulfils the SSA goal to achieve RTE objectives by facilitating the administration to spot un-served habitats and act accordingly. In the current year i.e. 2013, total 29 new schools have been opened based on this system and ensured 100% access to Elementary Education. Other Government Departments are also able to reach in un-served areas found through this system. For example, Disaster Management Department can also establish its office in such un-served area. Transportation Department can also create new facility for un-served locality. The community pertaining to un-served habitations has benefited as far as receiving Elementary Education is concerned. Education Department, Local authorities i.e. Municipal Corporations, Jilla Panchayat, Nagar Panchayat or Gram Panchayat are able to identify requirements for facilitating universal availability of Elementary Education. Educationalists, Researchers, Social Workers and NGOs are also able to check existing schooling facilities available under Elementary Education for a specific area and are able to analyze by disaggregation and customized inputs.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
GIS mapping of schools was implemented in 2010. GIS school mapping is has been very much effective and successful. SSA Gujarat along with BISAG team strategically planned the project to get the best result to achieve its objectives. The data sources used for the system are fully authentic which are DISE School Database and High Resolution Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Data. DISE has been made operational in all the districts of the state through which data from all the recognized schools/sections imparting elementary education are being constantly collected and disseminated. The CRC and BRC officials were initially provided training to ensure that they are well aware of the mapping exercise. Training: District and Block MIS Coordinators are trained on entire mapping process periodically at State Project Office with technical support from BISAG. Training imparted mainly on following aspects: 1.How to locate the school using Google Earth Software 2.Use of KML file with Google Earth application 3.Mapping the DISE village code with Census village code. The implementation was monitored in a staggered manner to keep track of the mapping exercise. 1.Mapping of actual school locations, CRC, BRC, and Cluster Boundary in GIS environment with updates as per DISE database updated annually 2.Integration of Geo-Spatial Database with Departmental School Data i.e. District Information System for Education (DISE) which provides information on vital parameters relating to students, teachers and infrastructure at elementary stage. 3.Criteria based GIS Analysis Utility of the software 1.Category wise (For Primary and Upper Primary School) 2.Facility Wise 3.Management wise etc. 4.Utility for identification of villages not served by existing criteria. 5.Utility to prioritize most suitable village location for a proposed school based on the Demography and available infrastructure facility. 6.User search facility for nearby school through Google maps. 7.Tools for creation of buffer of the user's position and list of schools under that buffer. 9.Addition of new school through latitude-longitude by authenticated person as per DISE updates. 10.Updating facilities related to new school through a form.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Although the system has incorporated systematic mechanism to map all Elementary Schools in GIS environment, there were few obstacles faced during implementation. 1.Locating Longitude-latitude of the schools: The biggest problem was to locate the latitude and longitude of schools. The stakeholders went through a rigorous exercise of locating exact latitude and longitude. The local people of the village, school and cluster resource center collaborated to find location and to fix longitude-latitude on the Satellite/ Geographic Map. This was the biggest hurdle in implementation and was successfully cleared. 2.Capacity Building: As in most cases, inculcation of technology was faced with reluctance mainly due to the lack of know-how on how to operate the system. While IT software and applications are common in government departments these days, GIS was a relatively new area and to be able to extract maximum from the power of geo-spatial tools required officials to be trained. This problem was overcome by providing thorough operational training to stakeholders and sensitizing them towards effective utilization of such a tool. 3. Non-mapped locations: It was difficult to locate schools in difficult terrains like forests. These non-mapped schools were located with rigorous monitoring and field level precise efforts by Cluster Resource Center Coordinators and Teachers. These issues are also being settled down with continuous support and consultation with the stakeholders and more thorough mapping exercises with the help of BISAG.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Improvement in delivery time of services It is difficult to estimate exact requirement of schools in un-served areas by traditional system. School Mapping provides a systematic and scientific way of doing this process. Through BISAG the whole school mapping project has become standardized, transparent, cost effective and easy to access with significant G2C results. Urban area school micro planning, Evidence based spatial micro planning and decision support system has been developed. Feedback form for citizen has also been provided to improvise on the system. Improvement in measurable indicators 1.All 40943 schools including private schools mapped with actual school locations and Block-Cluster boundary 2.School facility mapping in GIS environment. 3.Multi-criteria analysis. 4.Efficient Selection of villages to setup a new school. 5.Verification of suggested villages. 6.GIS based gap analysis. 7.Proposing new locations based on existing facilities. One can get all the above mentioned information through GIS School Mapping. It not only helps the children or parents to find out the best schools to study in, but also provides comparative analysis to facilitate better decisions. In the current year i.e. 2013, total 29 new schools have been opened based on this system. Education Department, Local authorities i.e. Municipal Corporations, Jilla Panchayat, Nagar Panchayat or Gram Panchayat are able to identify requirements for addressing Access to facilitate universal availability of Elementary Education. Educationalists, Researchers, Social Workers and NGOs are also able to check existing schooling facilities available under Elementary Education for a specific area and are able to analyze by disaggregation and customized inputs. Simplified procedures: Geo Spatial database is integrated with DISE (District Information System for Education (DISE) which provides information on vital educational parameters relating to students, teachers and infrastructure at elementary stage. Due to this integration, Geographical and criteria based analysis is possible on various parameters like, •Literacy Rate •Gender Gap in literacy •Enrolment •Dropout Rate •Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) •Availability of infrastructure facilities i.e. boundary wall, play ground, electricity, common toilet, girls toilet etc. District and local level authorities are able to carry out gap analysis for micro level planning based on this integration. Major support for implementation of RTE GIS based school mapping has helped in speedy realization of the objectives of the Right to Education Act. In the absence of any decision facilitating system, rollout of educational infrastructure was very slow and haphazard. With policy makers being able to clearly see ground level realities, rollout is more focused on areas of deficiency.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
SSA with BISAG successfully operates the programme with a trained team of experienced professionals. BISAG provides specialized services and solutions in implementing map-based Geospatial Information Systems. The collaborative efforts of the state government’s two major modules make the program effective. Scalability: Initially this system has been generated at the village level and integrated at blocks/taluka and district level. This was scaled up to cover all the 26 district of Gujarat state. In the development process of GIS bases school information system, various technologies like Geo-informatics, Web-based GIS has been implemented using .net technology This can be scaled up easily to represent a greater number of schools and can be configured depending on the objectives of SSA. While it started with a village, it has slowly been scaled up to cover the entire state of Gujarat and can be scaled up further if required. Sustainability and adaptability: GIS School Mapping has its unique team for research and successful software for communication and dissemination of information. Team work and participation makes it sustainable and long lasting. Not only is the initiative scalable, the solution has been designed in a manner that can accommodate change in rules, regulations or objectives of the state level program. Accountability: The entire system is implemented based on Geo-Spatial longitude - latitude locations details and infrastructural-educational details (DISE). BISAG – Bhaskaracharya Institute for space applications and geo- informatics is a specialist in providing geospatial services. It caters to GIS needs of a majority of Government of Gujarat departments. Their expertise in mapping and solution designing has helped set up a perfect system. The mapping of schools is also done with the same perfection and dedication. This ensures that SSA has the right information and this further helps them to take the right actions to achieve the goals of SSA. DISE data has also been passed through 5% sample check by independent agency and Social Audit of School Management Committee.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
The initiative has helped to foster participation in Policy-making decisions through innovative mechanism for ensuring access to Elementary Education. The challenges faced before the project helped us realize the need for sound policy and decision making which is in line with ground level realities. Until this alignment is not achieved, the real benefits of people friendly policies will never be realized. To enable administrators to develop sound policies, there is a need to devise an mechanism with the help of which realistic decision can be taken. GIS is one such technology which can assist decision makers in their jobs. Prompt availability of information helps in quick decision making thus effecting easier rollout of programmes. The lessons learnt through implementation of the system are as under: 1.This initiative ensures Access to Elementary Education and assists in decision making in the by enabling e-participation of the stakeholders 2.Improvisation in the solution designed by incorporating feedback from stakeholders and community have reduced grievances 3.The cumbersome tasks could be simplified by introducing new concept through use of GIS Technology to increase efficiency in policy making under holistic approaches There are few recommendations for various aspects of schools in the context of RTE Act for future enhancements within the system: 1.A database for schools recognition under RTE, Section-18 will also be integrated in next stage 2.Infrastructure facilities like per teacher 1 room, 1 separate room for Head Teacher (Principal), separate toilet for Boys and Girls, Pure Drinking water facility and Compound wall facility for each school will be assured through GIS mapping 3.Pupil Teacher Ratio (PTR) will be monitored through GIS mapping as per RTE Act

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Gujarat Council of Elementary Education
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Mukesh Kumar
Title:   State Project Director, SSA  
Telephone/ Fax:   009107923238404
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   ssa.misdata@gmail.com  
Address:   Office of the State Project Director,Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Sector 17
Postal Code:   382017
City:   Gandhinagar
State/Province:   Gujarat
Country:  

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