Malawi: The international division of Emapsite will deliver a nationwide data capture and GIS project to help with the planning of schools across the African democracy’s 34 education districts.
The ten-month contract, awarded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, involves the linking of GIS resources with education data such as catchment areas, enrolments, learner-teacher ratios and classroom sizes.
Justin Saunders, International Director of emapsite, will personally supervise the work from the company’s Malawi project office. He said, “There have been huge advances in the quality of Malawi’s education system in recent years. The government now requires more GIS-based analysis and planning to help consolidate its data and strengthen its capacity to meet the educational needs of today’s children and tomorrow’s workforce.”
Reporting to the Ministry’s Inspectorate of Planning, the Emapsite team will first review previous mapping and database information before carrying out a pilot survey of three districts in the capital Lilongwe.
Learnings from the pilot will then be rolled out across the country with recommendations made on the most appropriate systems and software for ongoing school mapping at central and district levels. As well as schools, the institutions to be analysed include teacher training colleges, other technical and vocational training centres, university buildings, adult literacy centres and pre-primary facilities.
“The project will help with decisions on the location of future schools and the resources to be allocated to them. As well as technical advice, we will be training Malawi officials in data collection and database techniques so they can continue to map, analyse and set budgets for their education infrastructure and provision,” Saunders added.
The project is part of a wider initiative called PIEQM (Project to Improve Education Quality in Malawi) which is funded through the Malawi government and a range of international partners. They include the World Bank, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and various foreign government bodies such as the UK’s Department for International Development.