Tamil Nadu, India, 9 August 2006: The faculty members of Bharathidasan and Madurai Kamaraj universities have undertaken `SCHOOLGIS,’ the country’s first school mapping project, using Geographical Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS).
With a Rs. 93-lakh (0.2 Million USD) grant from the Ministry of Human Resources Development, channelled through Tamil Nadu State Mission for Education- to-All (Sarva Siksha Abhiyan), the project entails mapping of 56,000 primary schools and 65,000 hamlets. Till date, 18,300 school positions and 24,900 hamlet positions in 10 districts — Pudukottai, Tiruchi, Karur, Erode, The Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, and Tirunelveli — have been mapped.
The survey was completed simultaneously over a period of 20 days. Survey of Kanyakumari, the 11th district, will commence on August 17 at Nagercoil, according to researchers S. Vasudevan of the Department of Geology, Bharathidasan University, and A. Sundaram, Department of Futures Studies, Madurai Kamaraj University.
The GIS-based customised modules they have developed are user-friendly and facilitate quick decisions. The project uses data on population and school-going population from the District Information System for Education updated by September every year by the School Education department.
Apart from the GPS-captured features such as hamlets, schools, wards and educational offices, the project will also have features such as administrative boundaries, major road networks, reservoirs, irrigation tanks and rivers.
The findings will be made available to the authorities in web environment. It will assist the authorities in identifying hamlets without access to primary schools as per SSA indicators, conducting priority analysis to provide sanitation and drinking water facilities and to plan the upgradation of schools.