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School mapping project to be taken up

Staff Reporter

MADURAI: In an attempt to enhance better school education management the Department of Future Studies of Madurai Kamaraj University and Department of Geology, Bharathidasan University have joined together to take up the country's first school mapping project, said P. Maruthamuthu, Vice-Chancellor, Madurai Kamaraj University.

Briefing presspersons here on Wednesday, he said that the inter-university collaborative research and operational project, SCHOOLGIS, funded by the Ministry of Human Resource Development through Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, would facilitate authorities at the helm of the affairs to take quick decision by providing all information in digital mode.

The outcome of the project would be available to the State and District level authorities as Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) package in web environment, he said.

There were as many as 45,000 schools and 65,000 hamlets in Tamil Nadu and they would be mapped from the advanced satellite-based feature capturing technology called Global Positioning System (GPS) survey, which involved rigorous field works, he informed.

The outputs will be developed as user friendly Geographic Information System (GIS) based on customised modules, he said and added that the GIS technology essentially integrates maps and tabular data in single architecture.

Briefing the project, worth Rs.93 crores, A. Sundaram, Department of Futures Studies, MKU, said that SCHOOLGIS would use the GPS as main spatial data source and District Information System for Education (DISE) as main non-spatial data source.

The project would have various map features such as major road network, reservoirs, irrigation tanks and rivers, which would be extracted from existing map sources, Dr. Sundaram said.

The authorities could plan on hamlets that were to be given due priority in sanctioning facilities.

Besides, they could also select schools for infrastructure development based on needy conditions, performances, etc., he informed.

The survey, to be completed in a year, would be taken out by 15 teams involving 30 local SSA members, he said.

Sharing the view, S. Vasudevan, Department of Geology, Bharathidasan University, said that the mapping would also capture location of schools, location of habitations and location of libraries.

Through the project one could spot hamlets where a sufficient number of school going population existed as per SSA norms but did not have primary schools within the user specified distance, he said and added that similar type of attempts could be made on any category of schools like upper primary, high school, etc.

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