A GIS-based investigation of the effects of physical access on Primary School enrollment: Case study of Loitokitok Sub County
Education is considered as one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty, give people opportunities to improve their lives and raise their voice, improve their health, productivity and foster participation in civil society activities. It has been noted that increasing the number of pupils who finish school leads to economic growth, social and political stability, decline in the crime rate, and improved social services. School enrolment is the entry point to the education system and the study of the same and its access greatly impacts on education management. Several factors e.g. household conditions, educational facilities, social cultural practices, environmental conditions, institutional barriers and physical access affect enrolment levels. The main objective of this study was to demonstrate the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) in determining the relationship between physical access and school enrolment. The methodology for the study involved collection of various datasets for schools and roads in Loitokitok Sub County which is part of the larger Kajiado County in Kenya. This was done by collecting the school spatial and enrolment data, spatial data on roads and road surface condition. From the data collected and using GIS analysis techniques, proximity distances of schools to roads were estimated. Using the population census data of 2009, projections were made for the population of school going children in the area of study and in the catchment area of each school. The catchment area was determined by creation of thiessen polygons using the schools as the sample data points. The spatial and attribute data collected were processed and analysed to determine the differences between expected enrolments and actual enrolments. This was further analysed in relation to the proximity distances of schools to roads and road surface conditions. Key results were maps for the schools and road locations and scatter plots for the enrolments versus proximity distances of schools to roads .The results revealed that there exists a weak relationship between road proximity and road surface condition to the school enrolments. Differences between actual and projected enrolments increased with increased distances of schools from roads .The actual enrolment decreased with increased distances of schools from nearest roads. Thus as per the objective of the study, the relationship between physical access and school enrolment was determined.